Three days ago The Globe and Mail (a prominent Canadian newspaper) published an article titled, “Canadian universities conducting joint research with Chinese military scientists.”
Several alarming points are detailed in the report.
From 2005 until 2022, fifty Canadian universities have published joint research papers with scientists connected to the Chinese military.
The research papers include such topics as Quantum cryptography, photonics, and space science.
The Chinese scientists are connected with China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT.)
As noted in the article, “NUDT was blacklisted by the United States in 2015 – subject to export restrictions – under former U.S. president Barack Obama’s administration because Washington believes it “is involved, or poses a significant risk of being or becoming involved in activities that are contrary to the national-security or foreign-policy interests of the United States.”
According to The Globe and Mail, a former member of Canada’s grant funding office explained that although there are new government guidelines to review collaborations with foreign scientists, they only cover federal funding and not individual funding arrangements.
She is quoted in the article saying, “ ‘The People’s Liberation Army is not our friend and we should not be partnering with them,” she said. “Any collaboration with the National University of Defence Technology is clearly going to a military purpose and Canadian researchers should be using their own personal ethical lens to decide not to move forward with that research.’ ”
One striking example is a joint research project with the Chinese military using quantum technology in lasers to hack cryptographic systems.
One of the Chinese lead researchers (according to The Globe and Mail) is directly connected with a Canadian university and the Chinese government’s NUDT.
It is interesting to read that these joint research projects persist despite warnings from Canadian intelligence.
“The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has warned that Beijing is increasingly using joint academic research programs to obtain innovative science and technology for economic and military advantage.”
In a follow-up article published the same day, The Globe and Mail reported that the opposition party of the Canadian federal government urged the Trudeau administration to ban these joint projects with the Chinese military scientists and issue a directive to that effect.
It appears Canada is catching up to the U.S. government’s call to action with more urgency.
This is a little curious since Canada is a member of the intelligence partnership known as the Five Eyes, which includes–not only the U.S.–but the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand.
As reported in The Globe and Mail, the same former Canadian grant-funding official (quoted above) made the following telling observation:
“ ‘When you have collaboration with Canada and the U.S. or U.K., it is a two-way street,” she said. “With China, it is one-way street. It is kind of like a vacuuming sound that you hear as Chinese collaborators take all the Canadian technology know-how and innovation.’ ”
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