Canada’s spy service is warning that Canadian research is “of interest to foreign states,” whose exploitation of such work poses potential harm to “Canada’s national interests.”
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) said on Tuesday that it routinely meets with universities to warn them of risks. The Globe and Mail reported this week that at least nine Canadian postsecondary institutions have conducted joint studies in recent years with researchers from Chinese military institutions, including the People’s Liberation Army Information Engineering University, China’s Air Defence College and the elite National University of Defense Technology.
In general, Canadian university policies require joint research to be published openly.
The collaborations, however, have raised concern that Canada’s academic establishment has become a target for Chinese intelligence-gathering, as Beijing conducts a sweeping technological modernization of its armed forces. Some Chinese defence scientists working with Canadian scholars have used the names of what appear to be non-existent civilian institutions rather than citing their military credentials in joint publications.
Think tanks all around the world have been targets of foreign espionage. In October, US Vice President Mike Pence gave a major speech at the Hudson Institute in which he warned about Chinese espionage at think tanks.