UPDATE 1-Canadian police arrest Toronto man on suspicion of spying for China

Sun Dec 1, 2013 1:24pm EST
 
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By Janet Guttsman

TORONTO Dec 1 (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a Toronto man suspected of seeking to give China classified information about Canadian shipbuilding procurement policies, security officials said on Sunday.

Jennifer Strachan, a chief superintendent with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, told a news conference that Canadian citizen Qing Quentin Huang, 53, faced two charges of attempting to communicate with a foreign entity.

"On Thursday the RCMP was informed that the accused was taking steps to pass on information of a classified nature to China," she told a rare weekend news conference.

"In these types of cases, sharing of information may give a foreign entity a tactical, military or competitive advantage by knowing the specifications of vessels responsible for defending Canadian waters and Canadian sovereignty."

Strachan said Huang, who was arrested on Saturday, had worked for a subcontractor involved in ship design. She declined to say what information Huang had tried to provide to China, but said there was no threat to public safety.

Canada has had a complicated relationship with China, with official efforts to boost trade and improve business ties at times conflicting with deep concern about the role that Chinese state-owned entities should be allowed to have in Canada.

Canada last year allowed state-owned energy company CNOOC Ltd to buy up domestic energy producer Nexen Inc, but made clear that it would not allow further purchases of domestic oil sands companies by state-owned enterprises.   Continued...