Canadian security agencies prevail on universities


For the past four months, Canada’s political establishment and corporate media have been consumed with a vicious anti-China campaign, centered on lurid and unsubstantiated allegations from the intelligence agencies that Beijing interfered in Canada’s 2021 and 2019 federal elections.

In addition to casting China as a nefarious, hostile power, this campaign has served to destabilize the trade union-backed Justin Trudeau-led federal Liberal government, so as to push it still further right. The government has adopted an anti-China “Indo-Pacific Strategy” developed in close consultation with the White House and routinely deploys Royal Canadian Navy warships alongside US vessels on provocative “freedom of navigation” missions in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait. Yet the ruling class is flailing it for being insufficiently aggressive against Beijing.

In this photo provided by the U.S. Navy, the USS Chung-Hoon observes a Chinese navy ship conduct what it called an “unsafe” Chinese maneuver in the Taiwan Strait, Saturday, June 3, 2023. The incident occurred as the American destroyer and Canadian frigate HMCS Montreal were conducting a so-called “freedom of navigation” transit of the strait between Taiwan and mainland China. [AP Photo/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Andre T. Richard/U.S. Navy via AP]

This reactionary, war-mongering campaign, is infecting all areas of public life. This includes the universities.

In recent months the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and government have intensified their efforts to compel the country’s universities to cease scientific cooperation with Chinese academics.

On May 3, Ontario’s University of Waterloo announced it was shutting down its “Joint Innovation Lab” founded in 2018 with a $6.5 million donation from Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei. The laboratory had been working on 26 scientific research projects, staffed by 128 graduate students and post-doctoral researchers.

The following day, the Universities of Toronto, Calgary, and Saskatchewan as well as McGill and Carleton Universities declared that they too were ceasing any research cooperation with Huawei, citing “national security” concerns that “Canadian” research “could” end up in the hands of the Chinese military. No proof has ever been offered for such hysterical nationalist claims.

The project “Novel Smartphone Application for Eye Disease Diagnosis and Therapy for Young Children” was determined by CSIS to be a “security risk.” The director of the Joint Innovation Lab, computer scientist Tamer Oszu, commented to the Waterloo Record: “It’s hard to comprehend what national security risk there might be in a topic that studies computer assistance in diagnosing eye diseases in children.”

Source link

Tags: No tags

Comments are closed.