The declaration made in a report released Wednesday by the Royal United Services Institute -- which studies international security and defense -- comes as Germany is preparing for a federal election next year.
"Russia's activities are largely political, attempting to undermine public confidence in democratic institutions,” John Kampfner, a senior associate fellow at RUSI and author of the report, was quoted by Sky News as saying. “China's have been focused mainly on economic assets."
In his writing, Kampfner says the threats Germany faces from Russia are mostly linked to cybersecurity.
At the same time, Germany’s economy – the largest in Europe – has become heavily dependent on China for exports and has seen a number of its companies bought by their business people, he also notes.
"A number of Chinese takeovers, successful or resisted, of medium-sized... companies, the engine room of the German economy, has led to a shift in position and in perceiving China as a strategic competitor," Sky News quoted the report as saying.