Canadian Scientists Shared Confidential Information with China, Investigations Find

by Uyghur Times
2 minutes read
Canada-Chinese spy

March 2, 2024

The following summary is based on an article from The New York Times, and credit for the original reporting goes to them.

In a recent development, documents released by Canada’s national intelligence agency and a security investigation reveal that two scientists, Xiangguo Qiu and Keding Cheng, formerly employed at Canada’s top microbiology lab, transmitted confidential scientific information to China. The released reports, totaling hundreds of pages, indicate that one of the researchers posed a “realistic and credible threat to Canada’s economic security.” The documents were disclosed to the House of Commons following a national security review by a parliamentary committee and a panel of retired senior judges.

The scientists, who were born in China and married, were dismissed from the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in January 2021 after being escorted out in the summer of 2019 and having their security clearances revoked. The released documents provide more details about their unauthorized collaboration with Chinese institutions and undisclosed agreements. Notably, Dr. Qiu had failed to disclose agreements where a Chinese institution committed substantial research funding and an annual salary of 210,000 Canadian dollars.

The documents also reveal suspicions dating back to 2018 when Dr. Qiu was named an inventor on a Chinese patent that seemed to utilize research from the Canadian lab for an Ebola vaccine. This raised concerns about security breaches in a facility designed for working on lethal microbes, potentially for biological warfare.

Despite the gravity of the situation, Health Minister Mark Holland emphasized that no national secrets threatening Canada’s security left the lab. The scientists, who were fired in 2021, are reportedly untraceable, with rumors suggesting they may have moved to China. A criminal investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police began in 2021, but no charges have been filed.

The documents indicate Dr. Qiu repeatedly misled investigators, misrepresenting her ties to Chinese researchers and organizations. The intelligence agency found that many of the institutions she collaborated with in China researched potentially lethal military applications. Questions about the nature and impact of the information provided to China remain unanswered.

This revelation comes amid growing concerns about Chinese interference in Canadian affairs, prompting tighter regulations on collaborations with foreign universities. The opposition has criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government for its handling of alleged foreign interference in Canadian elections.

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