According to the Canadian defense minister, Canada has been aware of Chinese attempts to conduct air and sea surveillance since last year, at which time they were successfully thwarted.
The Globe and Mail reported that the CAF had seen Chinese monitoring buoys in the Arctic last year as part of an effort to give early detection of threats to Canada's security.
A representative for Canada's Ministry of Defense declined to give specifics, but did say that officials were aware of Chinese spying attempts employing dual-purpose technologies.
"The CAF are fully aware of recent efforts by China to conduct surveillance operations in Canadian airspace and maritime approaches," the spokesperson said, adding the forces had stopped attempts to surveil Canadian territory since 2022.
The suspected Chinese spy balloon that flew over the United States and Canada before being shot down earlier this month has exacerbated the already heated debate over North American security and further strained relations between Beijing and the West.
The senior Chinese diplomat, Wang Yi, said over the weekend that the American response to the balloon incident was "unimaginable" and "hysterical," calling it a "absurd" that went against international rules.
The recently seized Chinese spy balloon, according to multiple American sources familiar with the intelligence, was likely part of a large-scale monitoring operation coordinated by the Chinese military.
The Washington Post broke the story of the balloon's connection to a larger monitoring effort a week before the actual balloon was spotted.
According to a government official familiar with the intelligence, six of these planes had entered U.S. airspace, albeit they may not have necessarily flown over American soil.
The United States does not know the precise number of Chinese surveillance balloons in operation, but the program has reportedly flown at least two dozen missions across five continents in recent years.
In addition, the official and another person familiar with the intelligence claimed that not all of the balloons seen throughout the world had been the same model as the one shot down off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday. In their view, many "variations," exist instead.
An official from the United States Department of Defense has stated that the government has already collected real-time data on the types of signals the balloon emitted as it traveled, making use of the technical capabilities provided by the National Security Agency and other organizations.