Latvian security service: China's interest in the region growing

One of Latvia's three national security authorities, the Constitution Protection Bureau (SAB) observes that China's interests in the region is growing, SAB told newswire LETA, commenting on several Saeima deputies' trip to China.

Currently, several Saeima deputies are in China. The head of the group Ainārs Šlesers (Latvia First) has publicly stated that the trip is paid for by the Chinese government.

The SAB, per its competence, regularly informs and warns Latvian officials, including members of the Saeima, about the risks that may arise from visiting countries outside the European Union (EU) and NATO.

In general, the SAB recommends that not only politicians, entrepreneurs and researchers, but anyone planning a trip to countries outside the EU and NATO assesses the potential risks that may arise when traveling to a particular country.

“China's interests - political and economic presence - are becoming increasingly felt in our region. It should be noted that cooperation with third countries may include risks with a tendency to endanger not only the security of the parties involved but also the security of the state,“ SAB said.

It is important to be aware that trips sponsored by the host country may not only focus on friendly cooperation and presenting opportunities but may also include targeted attempts to build long-term contacts with specific individuals with knowledge, influence, or access to information, the SAB noted.

More about the risks posed by third countries to Latvia's national security will be included in the SAB's 2023 activity report, which will be published soon.


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