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Canada: Alberta province orders 4 universities to suspend partnerships with China amid IP theft concerns

Canada: The government of Canada’s Alberta province has ordered four universities to suspend new or renewed partnerships that could be linked to China and the Chinese Communist Party, citing potential theft of Canadian intellectual property.

The province sent a letter to the University of Calgary, University of Alberta, University of Lethbridge and Athabasca University about relationships with Chinese entities, Canada’s CTV News reported.

“I am deeply concerned about the potential theft of Canadian intellectual property and further concerned that research partnerships with the People’s Republic of China may be used by Chinese military and intelligence agencies,” reads a statement from Alberta’s Advanced Education Minister Demtrios Nicolaides.

“My priority is to work with our post-secondary institutions to protect Canadian intellectual property and to ensure that Alberta institutions do not enter into agreements with entities that would undermine our country’s core national interests,” Nicolaides added.

University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge acknowledged that the province’s letter was received.

Margaret McCuaig-Johnston, who is a senior fellow with the University of Ottawa and the University of Alberta’s China Institute, believes that the review of China’s partnerships in the province is a good move and one that could be replicated in other provinces.

“Anybody in Canada partnering on sensitive technologies with counterparts in China could very well have their research being used by the Chinese military. And I don’t think researchers want that,” McCuaig-Johnston told CTV News.

Last year, the Trump administration has banned some Chinese students and researchers from entering the United States after accusing them of stealing intellectual property. -yahoo news

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