Finnish universities to receive guidelines on how to deal with China

As the EU is preparing recommendations on cooperating safely with Chinese partners, Finnish authorities are already drawing up their own guidelines for universities and the scientific community. [Shutterstock / Kvitka Fabian]

As the EU is preparing recommendations on cooperating safely with Chinese partners, Finnish authorities are already drawing up their own guidelines for universities and the scientific community.

The Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are involved in drafting the guidelines that are expected to be published in December.

Behind the project is the concern expressed by the Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo) that security risks such as espionage have increased. Finland, which conducts a lot of high-tech research, is a lucrative target.

Interviewed for the Finnish Broadcasting Corporation (YLE) report, Aishi Zidan, a Supo communications specialist, said China funds research activities that benefit its long-term strategic goals. Therefore, the risks associated with research collaboration are higher.

Janne Hokkanen, a Strategy Manager at the LUT University, asked researchers and teachers to bear in mind China’s possible “ulterior” motives. “The Chinese state works differently than we do. It seems that people there often put the interests of the state ahead of their own,” said Hokkanen in the YLE report.

(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)

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