2 Scientists in Canada Passed On Secrets to China, Investigations Find

Two scientists who worked at Canada’s top microbiology lab passed on secret scientific information to China, and one of them was a “realistic and credible threat to Canada’s economic security,” documents from the national intelligence agency and a security investigation show.

The hundreds of pages of reports about the two researchers, Xiangguo Qiu and Keding Cheng, who were married and born in China, were released to the House of Commons late Wednesday after a national security review by a special parliamentary committee and a panel of three retired senior judges.

Canadian officials, who have warned that the country’s academic and research institutions are a target of Chinese intelligence campaigns, have tightened rules around collaborating with foreign universities. Canadian universities can now be disqualified from federal funding if they enter into partnerships with any of 100 institutions in China, Russia and Iran.

The release of the documents was the subject of a prolonged debate in Parliament that began before the last federal election, in September 2021. Opposition parties asked to see the records at least four times and found the Liberal government to be in contempt of Parliament in 2021. The government filed a lawsuit in an attempt to keep the records hidden, but dropped it when the vote was called.

The release comes as the country is holding a special inquiry led by a judge to look into allegations that China and other foreign nations have interfered in Canadian elections and political parties. Some of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s political opponents have charged that his government has failed to respond adequately to Chinese meddling in Canadian affairs.

But Mark Holland, the federal health minister in Canada, told reporters late Wednesday that at “no time did national secrets or information that threatened the security of Canada leave the lab.”

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