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Monday, April 30, 2007

China tops spy list: CSIS

Isn't that a fact? If you're not convinced yet, look here, here, and here.

Toronto Star: CANADIAN PRESS (OTTAWA) Apr 30, 2007 05:09 PM – Almost half the effort the country's spy-watchers put into monitoring suspicious foreign activity in Canada is devoted to Chinese operatives, the head of CSIS said today.

Jim Judd, director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, said there are a lot of foreign agents operating in Canada, many adopting the guise of innocent visitors.

"It's surprising, sometimes, the number of hyperactive tourists we get here and where they come from."

Judd told the Senate committee on defence and national security that 15 countries account for most of the concern when it comes to foreign intelligence-gathering or interference in Canadian affairs.

He wouldn't identify all those countries, but did tell senators that China tops the list.

He said CSIS tries to keep close tabs on foreign operatives and hopes "that we have all the bases covered."

Judd said his agency is charged with monitoring foreign efforts to collect information, both public and private; to meddle in Canadian affairs; or to foment trouble within ethnic communities China has been accused of all three activities in the past and has steadfastly denied it has spies in Canada.

Earlier this month, a Chinese-language TV station demanded the expulsion of a Chinese diplomat for allegedly trying to block its licence approval.

New Tang Dynasty TV said diplomat Huang Huikang tried to orchestrate a campaign to keep it from getting a broadcast licence from the CRTC.

The station said the Chinese embassy has also tried to sabotage the station by urging Chinese-Canadians to boycott various activities.

Two years ago a pair of Chinese officials who defected and sought asylum in Australia said China was running hundreds of spies and informants in Canada, mainly in Vancouver and Toronto.

One of the defectors said some of those agents were charged with intimidating members of the Falun Gong sect in Canada.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, when he was still Opposition leader, claimed there were up to 1,000 Chinese agents in Canada.

He quoted a CSIS official as saying that Chinese spies stole $1 billion worth of technological secrets every month.

Last year, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said he wanted a crackdown on Chinese espionage. MacKay is currently on a China visit.

In a 2004 report, CSIS said Chinese economic espionage targeted information including contract details, supplier lists, planning documents, research and development data, technical drawings and computer databases.

Foreign students and scientists, business delegations and immigrants were among those recruited as informants, the spy agency said.

The story was also picked up by many media including Canada.

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