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Operation Sidewinder:

In Canada spies are us

by Judi McLeod, Canadafreepress.com

January 26, 2005

Operation Sidewinder. It sounds like a Hollywood spy movie starring Harrison Ford.

For a long time, Sidewinder moldered on the shelf as just another conspiracy theory.

In reality, Sidewinder was a controversial report put together by a small but hard-working team of RCMP and CSIS (Canadian Security & Intelligence Service) officials.

It was Sidewinder that sounded the first alarm bells that China is one of the greatest ongoing threats to Canada's national security and Canadian industry.

But even after Sidewinder was side swiped by former Prime Minister Jean Chretien, intelligence proves that there is no doubt that an active Chinese Intelligence Service has been able to gain influence on vital sectors of the Canadian economy, including real estate, high technology and security. The bottom line is that this unprecedented influence gave China ongoing access to economic, political and some military intelligence in Canada.

Operation Sidewinder met with a fate that silenced ringing alarm bells. Officially entitled Chinese Intelligence Services and Triads Financial Links in Canada, it was buried. Following orders from persons unknown, CSIS watered down Sidewinder's worrisome conclusions and replaced it with a revised document called, Echo.

CSIS officials maintain that they buried Sidewinder because it relied on nothing more than conspiracy theories--even though www.asianpacificpost.com heralded the news in August 2003 that some 3,500 Chinese spy companies had been identified operating in Canada and the United States.

While CSIS claimed that conspiracy caused them to go mum, other intelligence sources are saying that political pressure forced CSIS to abandon the Sidewinder report.

Prominent among Sidewinder's case studies was The Chinese, state-owned China International Trust Investment Company (CITIC), which already has a subsidiary up and running in Canada. CITIC has spent about $500 million to buy a Canadian pulp mill, a petrochemical company, vast real estate and hotels. At the time of the Sidewinder report. CITIC already had connections with one large Canadian corporation.

Add to that portfolio, the Alberta oil sands, ownership of which is currently being contemplated by a state-owned Chinese company and a Toronto-based mine company, Noranda Mines–a deal worth more than $7 billion.

Sidewinder found that significant amounts of arms, manufactured by a CITIC-controlled company, have been confiscated on Mohawk reserves.

Chinese tycoons have gained solid influence in municipal politics and development through their ownership of large chunks of real estate and hotel chains in key urban centres like Toronto.

Vancouver is now considered the North American gateway for China's state-owned COSCO shipping company.

Both U.S. Senate and Canadian intelligence sources have described COSCO as "the merchant marine for China's military".

According to U.S. Intelligence reports, COSCO vessels do not just transport Oriental bric-a-brac. COSCO vessels have been caught carrying assault rifles into California and biological-chemical weapons components into North Korea, Pakistan, Iraq and Iran. Add to these disturbing events that Canadian law enforcement agencies have kicked in with hard-line information that Chinese Triad criminal elements are active in and around Canada's ports.

Sidewinder star Li Ka-Shing is also Asia's most powerful man. He owns large tracts of prime real estate in Canada and octopus-like interests in the nation's telecommunications, petroleum and banking sectors. Even as he was acquiring Vancouver's Expo 86 lands, Hong Kong Police were asking CSIS to investigate Li Ka-Shing in Canada, back in 1988. Anne Marie Doyle, then Canadian High Commissioner officially denied that request to Hong Kong.

Conspiracy theories were tossed out the window when U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher revealed that the U.S. Bureau of Export Affairs, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the Rand Corporation had identified Li Ka-Shing and Hutchison Whampoa (Li's primary business) as financing or serving as a conduit for Communist China's military in order for them to acquire sensitive technologies and other equipment.

Former Prime Minister Jean Chretien's connections to the burgeoning CTIC conglomerate served as his entrée into the private sector. While John Turner was leader of the federal Liberals, Chretien was working for Gordon Securities, one of the many Li-controlled companies on Canadian soil.

Chretien also served as an international-relations adviser to PetroKazakhstan, a Calgary-based oil company trying to expand its oil exports to China.

But anyone trying to join the dots on Chinese influence in Canada shouldn't stop with Chretien.

Prime Minister Paul Martin, portrayed by the Canadian media as a sworn Chretien enemy during the Liberal leadership race, carries on the Chinese dynasty.

This is a saga that begins and ends with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), which provides more development assistance to China than to any other country in the world.

Both Chretien and Martin are under the personal influence of Kofi Annan pointman Maurice Strong, who founded CIDA, which launched him as an international powerhouse in 1967.

At the same time 3,500 Chinese spy companies have been identified conducting intelligence operations in Canada and the U.S., the Canadian Liberal Government is selling off its nation's natural resources--with taxpayers' money.

See also Welcome to the Peoples' Republic of China on Canadian soil

Canada Free Press founding editor Most recent by Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the print media. Her work has appeared on Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, Glenn Beck. Judi can be reached at: judi@canadafreepress.com


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