Canadian police arrest Toronto man on suspicion of spying for China
By Janet Guttsman
TORONTO (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.
Huang was arrested just days after Canada's official spending watchdog said the government has underestimated the costs of a multibillion-dollar naval shipbuilding plan and will either have to build fewer ships or settle for vessels with fewer capabilities than it initially planned. Continued...