03:30 GMT01 August 2021
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    The investigation was launched by the Belgian security services, focusing on the former diplomat's alleged ties to Chinese reporters who are claimed by security sources to be working for the Chinese Ministry of State Security and the Chinese military.

    Former diplomat and now the director of the Brussels EU-Asia Centre, Fraser Cameron, is reportedly under investigation over allegedly spying for China.

    According to The Sun newspaper, Cameron is suspected by MI5 and the Belgian forces of being paid "thousands of euros" for passing secret political and economic data about European institutions to China. One European Commission official even claimed Cameron was "very close to Beijing".

    Cameron, who has worked at the European Commission for 14 years, has dismissed all allegations against him as "absurd" and "without foundation", adding that "they really are absurd if you just stop to think about them for a minute".

    Cameron said that he "had a wide range of Chinese contacts as part of my duties with the EU-Asia Centre and some of them may have a double function", adding, "I retired 15 years ago from official employment and have zero access to any sensitive information".

    He underscored that the only funding he receives from China is "a small annual grant" from the Chinese diplomatic mission to the EU to cover organising events on EU-China relations.

    Though espionage is not a crime under Belgian law, Brussels launched an investigation over concerns Cameron alleged contacts could pose "a risk for European officials", Politico reported. If prosecutors want to press real charges against Cameron, they will need to find some other criminal basis to do so.

    United Kingdom, data, secret, China, think-tank, grant
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