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CSIS Warns of CCP Use of “Thousand Talents Program” in Top Canadian Universities

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) investigation shows that at least 15 Canadian scholars participated in Beijing’s “Thousand Talents Program.” They included experts in quantum computing, electronic engineering, vaccines, chemistry and artificial intelligence.

Professor Margaret McCuaig-Johnston of the University of Ottawa believes that this number is substantially underestimated. She said that all major Canadian universities have many research projects in which they are collaborating with China, including artificial intelligence, robotics, and quantum optics. These are areas of great interest to the Chinese military. China will pass the Canadian academic research results to the military whether in the open or privately through these collaborating scholars.

Gu Ming (a pseudonym), who once served for years as a senior executive in the Canada-China Society of Science and Technology (CCSST), told Radio Free Asia that more than two decades ago, the Chinese government established overseas bases and deployed Chinese Communist Party (CCP) organizations to learn or steal Western technology. There are CCP branches in well-known Canadian universities such as the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia. CCSST is one of the liaison organizations. “These people (in CCSST) are here to do research and study for a Ph.D. They were paid by the state, and there are CCP branches there. China uses these associations to contact foreign research institutions and senior research scholars. Then they either invite the scientific and technologically talented to do research in China or they buy the scholar’s knowledge. If they can’t buy the knowledge they need, they try to steal it. To put it bluntly, China started employing this strategy more than 20 years ago.”

The Canadian authorities are well aware of the situation. For example, the Conference Board of Canada published a report in 2016, claiming that the “Thousand Talents Program” provides salary, research funding and other incentives to participants, who the carry out research and other activities in Chinese and overseas universities. In recent years, after discovering evidence of technology transfers, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service has discussed (this issue) with universities and other research institutions, expressing its concerns about the “Thousand Talents Program” and other foreign recruitment plans.

Source: Radio Free Asia, September 21, 2020