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Canadian PM’s signing of ‘secret’ customs pact with China being looked with suspicions

Canadian PM’s signing of ‘secret’ customs pact with China being looked with suspicions

OTTAWA: Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government silently signs a customs agreement with China which has made the experts worried about the consequences to Canada’s security.

At the end of Harper’s trip to China in November, the government sent out a news release proudly detailing the progress made and agreements signed, including initiatives to strengthen commercial ties and increase exports.

But Harper made no mention of the agreement to share customs information with China, whereas similar agreements involving Israel and the European Union were widely disseminated.

The deal has many experts scratching their heads.

“China has for years been doing a tremendous job of stealing some of our technology,” said Garry Clement, a former RCMP superintendent with 30 years in the force.

“We’ve got a tremendous amount of counterfeit goods that we all know comes out of China. So I guess where my concern would come in is: what is the amount of intelligence that we’re actually going to share with them? And what (are) the controls we’re going to put on it, and how does that impact our relationship?”

There are many examples of Chinese attempts to steal hi-tech goods, blueprints and computer data.

Last year, a China-born naval architect, Qing Quentin Huang, was arrested for trying to smuggle information about Canada’s arctic patrol ships back to the Chinese government.