April 20, 2006 at 1:56 pm #13051
China rejects Cdn. claims of economic espionage
CTV.ca News Staff
China on Thursday rejected claims made by Ottawa that Chinese spies are stealing Canada’s industrial and high-tech secrets as “groundless and irresponsible.”
In an interview last week with CTV News, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said in an interview last week with CTV News that his government was “very concerned about economic espionage.”
While in opposition, the Conservatives challenged the Liberal-led government to act on reports of Chinese espionage.
Now, the new Conservative government appears ready to act.
“It is something we want to signal that we want to address, and to continue to raise with the Chinese at the appropriate time,” MacKay said.
But Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang dismissed MacKay’s allegations, saying China has not been engaging “in any so-called economic espionage activities in Canada.”
“China expresses great concern over this. We hope the Canadian government can make a clear distinction between what’s true and false and do more to help the healthy development of the China-Canada strategic partnership,” Qin said at a regular briefing.
Intelligence files reportedly suggest that an estimated 1,000 Chinese agents and informants operate in Canada. Many of them are visiting students, scientists and business people, told to steal cutting-edge technology.
One example MacKay pointed out was China’s Redberry — an imitation of the Blackberry portable e-mail device — created by Waterloo, Ont.-based Research in Motion Ltd.
According to a 2003-2004 CSIS report to Parliament, foreign spies are trying to uncover “Canada’s scientific and technological developments, critical economic and information infrastructure, military and other classified information, putting at risk Canada’s national security.”
However, CSIS does not specifically mention China in the report.
“It would appear, based on evidence and reporting, that there is a fair bit of activity here,” MacKay said.
Former Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent Michel Juneau-Katsuya has said the former Liberal government knew of the espionage, but were too afraid to act.
“We didn’t want to piss off or annoy the Chinese,” said Juneau-Katsuya, who headed the agency’s Asian desk. “(They’re) too much of an important market.”
However, he argued that industrial espionage affects Canada’s employment levels.
“For every $100 million that we lose in intellectual property or business, we lose about 1,000 jobs in Canada,” he said.April 20, 2006 at 6:42 pm #13052
I think you just cracked the code.
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