Saturday, November 17, 2012

An Open Letter from Canada to China

Dear China,

No, YOU shut up:

Beijing's representative in Ottawa says Chinese firms are not involved in foreign espionage and he challenges anyone who says otherwise to produce evidence or keep quiet, in a rare interview airing Saturday on CBC Radio's The House.

Zhang Junsai, China's ambassador to Canada, tells host Evan Solomon, "I can assure you that our companies working in other countries are strictly doing business according to the local laws."

"If you really have the evidence, come [out] with it. If not... shut up," Zhang says in no uncertain terms.

The Chinese ambassador's comments come on the heels of a scathing report released by a U.S. intelligence committee last month, warning of the security risks associated with doing business with two of China's leading telecommunications firms, Huawei and ZTE.

The ambassador said "even the United States could not give out evidence."

However, as CBC's Greg Weston reported days after the report was made public, that same U.S. intelligence committee has turned over to the FBI evidence of possible bribery and corruption by Huawei, one of the largest telecom companies in the world.

In an interview with CBC News after the U.S. report was released, the chairman of the committee, House Representative Mike Rogers, warned that Canada's national security was equally at risk.

Zhang said the "so-called security concerns" are "so far, groundless."

China's ambassador blamed the allegations of espionage against Chinese firms on "a Cold War mentality."

Now, why would anyone accuse you of espionage? Oh yeah....

Congress needs to take action to deflect the growing threat of Chinese cyber-espionage against the U.S., a U.S. commission recommends in a new report.

Released today, the 500-page annual report to Congress by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission details various security issues concerning China. But the commission expressed particular fear over the country's ongoing cyberwarfare efforts.

Calling China the "most threatening actor in cyberspace," the report found that in 2012, Chinese state-sponsored hackers continued to target computers systems run by the U.S. government and military as well those maintained in the private sector. Most of those campaigns used basic "hacking" techniques, but some showed a new level of sophistication. And even those employing basic tactics proved to be effective.

"Hackers in China have waged aggressive cyber espionage campaigns targeting a wide range of U.S. and international military, government, commercial, and other nongovernmental organizations," the report said. "These hackers seek to compromise targets ranging from smart phones to deployed military platforms, such as naval ships at sea."

The report also pointed a finger at various Chinese military departments as sources of cyberwarfare. One specific department of China's People's Liberation Army was singled out as potentially responsible for attacks against computer networks. China's intelligence and security services were also mentioned for their likely role in cyber espionage.

Does this sound familiar?

Huawei (Officially Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.) is a Chinese multinational networking and telecommunications equipment and services company. It is the second-largest supplier of mobile telecommunications infrastructure equipment in the world (after Ericsson).

The Chinese company has been disputed as being too close to the Chinese government and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. Do not forget that the government of Beijing has often is accused of meddling in the private affairs of the nation's companies. Many Huawei is fully under Chinese government control - pointing out that Ren Zhengfei, the founder of the company, served as an engineer in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in the early 1980s.

Maybe that is why we can't trust you.



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