Chancellery officials were shocked at how well-informed their Chinese counterparts were regarding Germany’s detailed plans to address touchy subjects like Darfur and the catastrophic human rights situation in China during Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to that country this week.

“We knew you were just dying to mention that,” said one smiling and inscrutable Chinese dignitary when approached about these matters. “And don’t forget to bring up the part about our lack of free press and that annoying protection of intellectual property issue that has been bothering you, too while you’re at it, if I may most humbly remind you, most honorable visitor.”

“Geez,” said one baffled security specialist traveling with the Chancellor. “It’s as if they already knew everything we were about talk to them about before we got a chance to do any of the talking. Inexplicable, really.”

When asked by a journalist if this mysterious phenomenon could possibly be attributed to something like a broad-based and systematic Chinese State-sponsored electronic attack directed against Germany, the specialist just shrugged his shoulders and said “Nah, I doubt it.”

“That would be completely out of character with a country like China. Considering their impressive track record and all, I mean. And they have also said time and time again that they don’t do stuff like that, after all. Nah, Ausgeschlossen (out of the question). But now that you mention it, maybe I will be leaving my notebook locked up in our plane during the rest of the visit. Just in case, you know?”

Come visit me at Observing Hermann…

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