Former space agency engineer charged by Mounties claimed to have overseen major Canadian projects

Wanping Zheng, who was charged remaining week in what police are calling “an issue of overseas actor interference,” claimed publicly to have overseen a bunch of prime Canadian aerospace initiatives.

Closing week the RCMP charged SIXTY ONE-12 months-vintage Wanping Zheng of Brossard, Que. with breach of trust. He Is accused of using his status as an engineer on the Canadian Area Agency to barter satellite station installation agreements with Iceland on behalf of a Chinese Language aerospace corporate. Files filed in court show the alleged crime took place again in 2018.

“We do believe this to be an issue of foreign actor interference,” RCMP Inspector David Beaudoin, the officer guilty of operations for the Built-In National Security Enforcement Group (INSET) in Quebec, stated overdue ultimate week.

A supply with knowledge of the investigation said the corporate Zheng is accused of helping is referred to as Spacety. it’s a Chinese Language company focusing on satellites that can take prime-resolution images.

In 2019, Zheng stopped running for the CSA — which the RCMP defined as part of Canada’s crucial infrastructure and “a strategic asset wanting coverage.”

in line with his Spacety biography, Zheng — who occasionally goes via James as a first title — was once a vice-president of global trade at Spacety as of June 2020.

A number of his fellow executives used to work for the Chinese Language Academy of Sciences — an arm of the Chinese executive — and China’s space software.

Quebec man accused of the usage of space agency status to negotiate contracts for Chinese companyCSIS says 2020 was a banner year for espionage operations targeting Canada

Zheng’s Spacety biography says he led “the established order and implementation of a number of best Canadian national aerospace projects” while on the Canadian House Agency.

The biography says he “presided over and participated in huge-scale space projects similar to the Global House Station, area radar, radar satellite tv for pc, medical satellite, and experimental satellite tv for pc.”

His LinkedIn profile mentioned he “participated in most of the recent Canadian area missions as a technical knowledgeable or a manager.”

Spacety makes a speciality of top-resolution satellites 

Spacety has stated publicly it plans to build, release and function a constellation of 56 small Artificial Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites.

Earlier this yr, it revealed high answer, wide-protection pictures captured by way of considered one of its satellites launched on China’s Long March EIGHT rocket closing 12 months. The satellite took pictures over Asia, North America, South The Us, Europe and Antarctica, consistent with Spacety’s web page.

In a press unlock, the corporate said its pictures are corresponding to the ones produced by way of higher SAR satellites similar to Canada’s Radarsat-2.

consistent with the trade e-newsletter House Information, that Lengthy March rocket additionally carried a labeled remote sensing generation take a look at satellite tv for pc advanced by the China Academy of Space Technology as a part of its payload.

CBC has contacted each Zheng and Spacety for comment.

Former space agency engineer charged by Mounties claimed to have overseen major Canadian projects

In Advance this 12 months Spacety, one in every of China’s first commercial space corporations, published top solution, wide-coverage photographs of Tennessee captured by means of certainly one of its Hisea-1 satellites. (Spacety )

At The Same Time As a lot is still unknown about Zheng’s case, Canada’s spy agency has been caution publicly of the risk of economic espionage and has named Russia and China as of its primary sources of concern.

The FBI within the U.S. also has issued public warnings about financial espionage.

In Advance this 12 months, a former senior scientist at the Nationwide Aeronautics and House Management (NASA) was once sentenced to 30 days in jail for lying to the FBI about running for a China-funded undertaking that has been accused of espionage.

And final 12 months, American police arrested an Arkansas professor who allegedly didn’t reveal his ties to Chinese Language entities at the same time as securing investment for a NASA project.

Zheng in court Wednesday 

Akshay Singh, a non-resident analysis fellow with the Council on Global Policy, stated China has been looking to develop its aerospace and aviation industries and has a history of leveraging talent in another country. 

it is not clear whether something identical is at play on this case.

“i believe in truth that is no longer, pardon the pun, rocket technology in phrases of what China is eager about … Their major purpose is to turn out to be an international chief in generation and to be competitive with the West,” Singh stated.

“it is not simply at all times concerning the organization they work for and the stuff that they are doing specifically. it isn’t simply in regards to the bits and bytes, if you can forgive me, however it is also concerning the knowledge, the experience that those folks gain from doing industry with quite a lot of stakeholders.”

Singh said not all of China’s espionage is finished through covertly planted spies. It also will depend on what is known as non-traditional collection.

“it’s possible you’ll think that you’ve got were given a fantastic task be offering from a united states to do a little distinctive analysis and they may rely on your present wisdom and experience. you do not point out it on your organisation,” he said.

“You accumulate a paycheck and also you transfer on, and also you do not realize that maybe what you will have performed is you’ve been recruited by means of a foreign government to provide fabrics or act on their behalf. “

Zheng is scheduled to make a court appearance on Wednesday.

WATCH | Area agency worker accused of using status to help Chinese Language company

Former space agency engineer charged by Mounties claimed to have overseen major Canadian projects

House company employee accused of the use of standing to assist Chinese Language corporate

5 days ago

Duration 2:01

A former engineer at the Canadian Space Company is accused of using his place to profit a Chinese Language aerospace company and now faces prison fees. 2:01

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