Chinese Espionage Woes

Chinese and Canadian flags morphed together. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

On December 15, TNB reported that China was holding two Canadians in an apparent response to the arrest of the CFO of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, Meng Wanzhou.

That number has risen. On January 3, the Canadian government reported that thirteen of their citizens had been detained since the arrest, with eight being subsequently released. This is believed to be in direct retaliation for the Wanzhou arrest.

Reuters reported, when presenting the story on the third:

Overall, there are about 200 Canadians who have been detained in China for a variety of alleged infractions who continue to face on-going legal proceedings. “This number has remained relatively stable,” the official said.


That “stable” number has been steadily growing since Wanzhou was held.

Another escalation has occurred. On Monday, Canadian citizen Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, who had previously been tried and convicted to 15 years in prison for drug smuggling charges in China, was given a new one-day trial and resentenced, this time with the penalty of death.

Justin Trudeau called the resentencing “arbitrary” according to the CBC, even as Schellenberg’s lawyer is saying they intend to appeal.

In a related case, on Friday a Chinese employee of the Huawei telecom was arrested in Poland for spying. Wang Weijing was arrested as well as a former Polish security official who aided him. Huawei immediately fired Wang, issuing a statement that indicated he had brought shame upon the company.

Poland believes it was not an isolated incident.

Poland’s internal affairs minister, Joachim Brudziński, called for the European Union and NATO to work on a joint position over whether to exclude Huawei from their markets.


The Chinese government has been working diligently to make inroads for diplomatic and financial ties to countries in Europe, particularly in areas where the United States has been perceived to be damaging existing ties. The twin issues of Canadian retribution and EU spying risk undermining much of their prior efforts.

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.