Beijing accused of espionage

OTTAWA — A Toronto woman says she was shocked and annoyed to see her personal information in a secret report to Chinese officials.

Jillian Ye, a database consultant in suburban Scarborough, found herself at the centre of a storm yesterday over allegations of Chinese espionage in Canada.

The 39-year-old Ye, a longtime practitioner of Falun Gong, was the subject of a September 2004 report to security officials in China, where many say followers of the ancient meditative practice have been persecuted.

The federal Conservatives and a national group representing Falun Gong devotees expressed concern about Ye’s case yesterday, citing it as a prime example of Chinese government interference in Canadian affairs. They accused the Liberals of failing to firmly voice Canada’s opposition to harassment and spying by Beijing.

The leaked report, slated for circulation to government security bureaus throughout China, contains information about Ye’s plans to start a communications firm as well as details of her recent purchase of a New York residence for her parents.

It was addressed to a Deputy Minister Liu with instructions to distribute the contents to the Central Cult Prevention and Management Leadership Committee Office, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and various security offices.

“Clearly, absolutely, my rights are violated,” Ye said.

As a Falun Gong activist since 1995, Ye expected she and fellow practitioners in Canada were being monitored. “However, to this extent — this kind of detail — it’s a bit shocking.”

The report was obtained by the Epoch Times, an independent newspaper based in New York that publishes Chinese, English and French editions in Canada.

The Times made a copy of the report available to CP.

It was among about eight such documents received by the Times from Hao Fengjun, a former security officer in Tianjin, China, who is claiming asylum in Australia.

Chinese officials deny Hao’s charges of government spying, saying he is simply trying to bolster his efforts to win asylum.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
The London Free Press, Canada
June 18, 2005
Jim Bronskill

Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday June 18, 2005.
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