Netherlands, Finland, Canada concerned over China's espionage, influence

The report stated that China's cyber-espionage poses an "imminent threat" to the economy of The Netherlands, in sectors such as banking, energy and infrastructure

The intelligence agencies in the Netherlands, Finland and Canada have expressed concern about China's espionage and political influence in democratic countries.

The Frontier Post quoted Axios as reporting that the Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) in The Netherlands, last week, had released a report on threats to Dutch national security interests.

The report stated that China's cyber-espionage poses an "imminent threat" to the economy of The Netherlands, in sectors such as banking, energy and infrastructure.

"Behind the scenes, China is rising on the agenda of the Dutch intelligence services. Spearheaded by the AIVD and NCTV, the focus is on economic espionage and political influence," Ties Dams, a research fellow at the Clingendael China Centre at the Clingendael Institute, told Axios.

"With the upcoming elections in March, this is the intelligence community signalling that China has to be prioritised," said Dams.

Similarly, Antti Pelttari, director of the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service, said that the authoritarian countries (referring to China and Russia) are "trying to get hold of Finland's critical infrastructure".

He further said that Huawei should not be allowed to build the 5G networks in Finland.

Axios quoted Canadian Security Intelligence Service Director David Vigneault as saying that China is "pursuing a strategy for geopolitical advantage on all fronts -- economic, technological, political, and military -- and using all elements of state power to carry out activities that are a direct threat to our national security and sovereignty."

"These activities ... cross the line by attempting to undermine our democratic processes or threaten our citizens in a covert and clandestine manner," Vigneault said.

Several countries have refused to allow Chinese firm Huawei for building 5G Network amid continuous human rights abuses by Beijing authorities.

In August 2018, US President Donald Trump signed a decree that barred US departments from using network equipment made by Huawei and ZTE for national security reasons. Last July, the UK government said the country's 5G networks would also be Huawei-free starting from January 2021 to the end of 2027. 



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