A House of Commons committee has passed a motion to launch a study of the federal government research grants, funds, and contributions by Canadian universities and research institutions in partnership with entities connected to the Chinese communist regime.
The study will focus on grants provided for research collaborations with China in sensitive areas, including, but not limited to, photonics, artificial intelligence, quantum theory, biopharmaceuticals, and aerospace.
Mazier noted that the five specific sensitive research fields raised in his motion were flagged by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, which warned about the threats to Canadian national security in partnerships with Beijing in these research areas.
"We only hear about the good things associated with partnerships and funding agreements, but the reality is that there are matters threatening the future of research and development in Canada," he said. "In order for the future, where research and development can prosper in Canada, we as members of the Standing Committee on Science and Research have a study to study the roadblocks preventing and threatening that future prosperity."
In particular, the motion asked that the committee look into Canadian universities' research partnership with the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT), an academic institution located in China's Hunan Province. Established by the People’s Liberation Army in the 1950s, it remains under "direct leadership" of the Chinese regime's top national defence organization, according to its website.
HuaweiIn addition to looking into the issue involving NUDT, Mazier's motion asked the committee to study intellectual property transfers to China's telecom giant, Huawei Technologies.
He quoted the testimony of Jim Hinton, an intellectual property lawyer, who appeared before the committee on April 18, 2022: "'There's a transparency issue here—we don't know who or what is being done with Canadian publicly-funded research.'"
"'There are policies in place but the foxes [are] in charge of the hen house—the researcher who wants to get the money is the one checking the boxes to say that there's no issue here.'"