OTTAWA, Apr 16 (Reuters) The Canadian government is very worried by the extent of Chinese industrial espionage inside Canada and will raise its concerns with Beijing, Foreign Minister Peter MacKay said in an interview broadcast today.
MacKay said it was particularly important to protect such Canadian companies as Research in Motion Ltd. , maker of the portable e-mail BlackBerry device.
''We're very concerned about economic espionage and it would appear based on evidence and reporting that there is a fair bit of activity,'' he told CTV.
''It's something we want to signal we're prepared to address and to continue to raise with the Chinese at the appropriate time. We're very much a country that needs to protect its technology,'' he said.
Research In Motion said last week it expected to launch its wireless e-mail service in China by mid-year. Canadian media reports say state-controlled China Unicom Ltd. this month introduced its own version, nicknamed the Redberry.
MacKay is a member of the new Conservative government, which defeated the Liberals in a Jan. 23 election. When in opposition, he accused the Liberals of doing little to prevent China from stealing Canadian industrial secrets.
Last June, amid a furor over allegations by a Chinese defector who said Beijing had more than 1,000 spies in Canada, the Liberals said they would tighten investment laws to give Ottawa the right to block the foreign takeover of any Canadian company for national security reasons.
REUTERS CH KP2309