Flanders bans collaborations with Chinese 'Seven Sons of National Defence' universities
The Flemish government has revealed in parliament that it is banning new collaborations with China's 'Seven Sons of National Defence' universities to prevent potential misuse of civilian information or espionage by Chinese researchers. The government is also setting up a knowledge security desk to report suspicious individuals to state security.
The 'Seven Sons of National Defence' universities send Chinese researchers and students to foreign educational and research institutions in the hope of misusing the information acquired for military purposes. The Flemish government rules out new cooperation projects because these universities are deeply rooted in China's defence industry and under the military control of the Chinese army.
To prevent possible espionage and interference, the Flemish government is also setting up a desk for knowledge security, based on the Dutch model. This counter will guarantee the flow of information to state security.
Security guidelines for Flemish knowledge institutions are also being drawn up. The security desk will help institutions such as universities to assess risks in uncertain situations and assist them with decision-making.
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