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New NATO member expels Chinese journalist

The unnamed woman who had lived in Sweden for years has been declared a security threat

Sweden has invoked national security grounds to deport a Chinese national who had lived in the country for 20 years, her lawyer told reporters on Monday.

The 57-year-old woman worked as a journalist and allegedly had contacts with the Chinese embassy and “people connected with the Chinese government,” according to the Swedish public broadcaster SVT. She has not been named.

“The security police have argued that it can be assumed that my client may pose a serious security threat,” attorney Leutrim Kadriu told the outlet. “It is difficult for me to go into exact details, given that much is shrouded in secrecy, as this is a national security matter.”

Kadriu’s client was arrested in October and a court ordered her to be deported last week, he told the broadcaster. The Migration Agency and the Migration Court agreed with the Swedish government that she was a national security risk, even though she had spent two decades in the country, married a Swedish man and had children with him, he added.

Justice Minister Gunnar Strommer told Reuters that the woman lost her appeal against deportation “under the law on the special control of certain foreigners.” A spokesperson for the Swedish Security Service (SAPO) said its actions were in line with the agency’s mission “to protect Sweden and democracy.”

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The Chinese journalist has denied all allegations and maintains she is not a security threat.

According to SVT, the Chinese embassy in Stockholm had paid the woman for some articles published on her website. She had also hosted Chinese officials and businessmen visiting Sweden and sought to arrange meetings for them with Swedish officials.

Commenting on the controversy, the Chinese embassy said that Beijing has always requested Chinese citizens to comply with the laws and regulations of their host countries, while expecting Sweden to “guarantee that the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens in Sweden are not violated.”

“We oppose causing trouble by spreading rumors, oppose ideologicalization, oppose groundless accusations and slanders against China,” the embassy added.

Sweden abandoned its 200-year policy of neutrality in 2022, citing the Ukraine conflict to apply to NATO. It became a member of the US-led military bloc last month, after running into delays due to political disputes with Türkiye and Hungary.

 

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