Stating the fact may be politically and economically inconvenient, but the reality remains that China has been, is, and will continue to be a major intelligence threat to Canada
The scandal surrounding the flirtatious e-mails from MP Bob Dechert, a parliamentary secretary to Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, to the Xinhua News Agency Toronto bureau chief appears to have awakened the Canadian public — and it is hoped, official — to the risk of greater engagement with China.
However, the risks associated with that bilateral relationship transcend political affiliation, and did not begin with Mr. Dechert’s first electronic indiscretion. Canada may not be China’s top priority for espionage activity, but as a highly industrialized economy with an abundance of natural resources, it nevertheless possesses a number of items that are of interest to Beijing. Only when those areas are identified will Canada’s counterintelligence authorities be able to determine the appropriate countermeasures that need to be implemented.
My article appears on page 14 of the current issue of FrontLine Security magazine.