China’s intelligence agencies are increasingly using “honeypots” and influence operations to target European countries, according to a recent report. These tactics involve deploying attractive individuals, often using social media platforms, to entice and manipulate targets for espionage purposes. With a focus on cultivating relationships with European politicians, business leaders, and academics, China’s spies have been able to gain access to sensitive information and exert influence in key sectors. This article explores the growing trend of Chinese espionage in Europe and its implications for national security.


In recent years, there has been growing concern over China’s influence operations in Europe, particularly through the use of “honeypots.” These covert operatives, often women, are strategically deployed to establish relationships with individuals who have access to sensitive information or hold influential positions. The goal of these operations is to gather intelligence, influence decision-making processes, and advance China’s political and economic interests in Europe. This article will delve into the nature of honeypots, China’s objectives, employment tactics, examples of their operations in Europe, the implications and consequences of these activities, the European response, and the lessons learned for the future.

What are ‘Honeypots’?

Honeypots are individuals, usually attractive women, who are trained and tasked with using their charm and seduction skills to extract information or garner influence. They are strategically placed in social or professional settings where they can target specific individuals who possess valuable knowledge or decision-making power. Honeypots are often employed by intelligence agencies and have been used throughout history by various countries for espionage purposes. China, in particular, has been known to utilize honeypots as part of its broader influence operations strategy.


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