Canadian police said they have arrested an employee of the Quebec state energy company, accused of spying for China.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested Yusheng Wang, 35, on Monday and charged him with espionage.
A police statement said Wang “obtained professional secrets for the benefit of China, at the expense of Canadian economic interests.”
On Tuesday, he will appear in court in Longueuil, Quebec, to face criminal charges.
The man, who resides in the Candiac neighborhood, in the southern suburbs of Montreal, is accused of obtaining professional secrets, using a computer without a license, breach of trust by a public servant, and fraud in order to obtain professional secrets.
It is believed that the crimes were committed between February 2018 and October 2022.
A Hydro-Quebec statement said Wang was working in the battery branch of the company’s transportation electrification and energy storage center of excellence, which develops electric vehicle technology.
Investigator David Baudouin said Wang used his position in Hydro-Quebec to conduct research for a Chinese university and other research centers.
He added that he had published scientific articles and filed patents “in favor of the foreign party instead of Hydro-Quebec.”
The investigation with Wang was opened in August 2022, after a complaint was filed by the company’s internal security branch.
“The sensing and intervention mechanisms allowed us to alert the police to this issue, and we have been cooperating with them ever since,” a Hydro-Quebec Homeland Security official said in a statement. He added that “no company is immune from these issues.”
The state company generates electricity, distributes energy and stores it in the Canadian province, and also exports electricity to some parts of the United States.
It is Canada’s largest energy company, according to its website.
Police said it was a priority for them and other security and intelligence services around the world to “sense and thwart attempts at foreign interference”.
The investigators noted that Hydro-Quebec is “a strategically important facility that needs to be protected”.
“The Canadian police are working in cooperation with their partners to enhance the protection of the Canadian sectors targeted by these risks.”
In the coming weeks, Canada is expected to announce a new strategy for the Indo-Pacific. Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie said earlier this month that her country seeks to deepen ties with other partners in Asia.
In a speech to Canadian companies, she said China was a “blocking force in the world” and warned them not to get too involved with it.
What I want to say to Canadian companies doing business with China: “You have to open your eyes.”
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