Canada says it thwarted recent air, maritime surveillance attempts by China

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Canada is aware of recent air and maritime surveillance attempts by China and has thwarted such efforts since last year, the Canadian defense ministry said on Wednesday, after a newspaper reported Chinese floating devices were found in the Arctic in autumn.

The discovery of a suspected Chinese spy balloon, which flew over the United States and Canada before being shot down earlier this month, has hit already strained relations between Beijing and the West, and has intensified discourse about North American security.

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The Globe and Mail newspaper reported on Tuesday the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) spotted Chinese monitoring buoys in the Arctic last year as part of an effort to provide early detection of threats to Canada’s security.

A spokesperson for Canada’s defense ministry declined to provide details but said authorities were aware of Chinese surveillance attempts using dual purpose technologies, which can have both commercial and military applications.
“The CAF are fully aware of recent efforts by China to conduct surveillance operations in Canadian airspace and maritime approaches,” the spokesperson said, adding the forces had stopped attempts to surveil Canadian territory since 2022.
The Chinese embassy in Ottawa did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
Over the weekend, China’s top diplomat Wang Yi said the US. handling of the balloon incident had been “unimaginable” and “hysterical,” an “absurd” act that had violated international norms.

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