PST warned Norwegian research communities after China promised that their citizens may be ordered to assist the mother country during foreign stays.
At the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, there is a noticeable presence of Chinese researchers and fellows, wrote University newspaper. The Police Security Service (PST) in Trondheim asked researchers to be aware of certain aspects of the exchange of academic cooperation.
There are especially researchers from countries with what is referred to as ‘particularly active intelligence services’ who are being warned against.
This includes Russia, Iran, Pakistan, North Korea, and perhaps China in particular.
“Last year, Chinese authorities introduced a separate law that Chinese citizens are obliged to stand at the disposal of the authorities when they are traveling abroad. This means that as long as you still have an active connection with your home country, you are expected to be cooperative,” said senior analyst, Per Marius Frost-Nielsen.
The PST will not interfere with research communities, but say they are keen to build awareness of the vulnerability academic freedom can imply.
There are so far no concrete examples that visiting researchers from China should have been required to provide services for the motherland, but according to the security service, it is up to the individual institution to actively follow what kind of knowledge and technology PhD students and researchers gain access to.
It is especially what is termed “multipurpose technology” and research that primarily has civilian purposes, but which can also be used militarily, to which attention has been paid.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today