Lust is Chinese spies’ favoured weapon

OTTAWA – A former Canadian diplomat has blown the lid off the Chinese government’s use of sex to ensnare business people and others, and then pump them to divulge secrets.

“The big thing that China is after is technology and information and military secrets,” Brian McAdam told a corporate espionage conference in Gatineau, Que.

“They are really targeting foreign scientists and engineers in a major way.”

McAdam said Chinese intelligence officials have perfected the “honey trap” – using agents to seduce visiting business people, scientists, or politicians while secretly videotaping their sexual encounter.

“This happens with incredible frequency,” said McAdam. “These (encounters) are now on film and it will be made very clear to (the victims) that they either co-operate or this information will be provided to their husband or wife, their social friends, their employer.”

McAdam adds that sometimes police will accuse a victim of rape, if that’s what it takes to blackmail them.

The conference also heard that China examines social networking sites and visitors’ visa applications to figure out which foreigners could have valuable information.

In September, there were fears Conservative MP Bob Dechert might have been caught in a “honey trap” when his flirtatious emails with a Chinese journalist came to light.

The journalist worked for Xinhua, China’s state news agency, that security experts fear often serves as a front for Chinese spies.

Dechert apologized for the emails but denied any inappropriate behaviour, while Prime Minister Harper said there was nothing to link Dechert’s flirtations with government business.

- TorontoSun