Don’t Bet on a PM Trudeau Government Investigating PRC Interference in Canada’s Election (note UPDATE)

(NOTE FOURTH COMMENT ON PRC TRYING TO WORK WITHIN CANADIAN CONSERVATIVE PARTY.)

Further to this post,

PRC Interference in Canadian Election Sept. 20?

it does seem that that the Chicoms took, er, active measures against certain candidates; but with the Two Michaels back in Canada one suspects that the current government will remain reluctant to prick the Dragon too openly as it tries to reconstruct relations with Beijing. From an article at the National Post:

Liberals must demand probe into any China election meddling

There is growing evidence that for some voters, foreign matters played a key role, not due to personal preference, but foreign interference

Author of the article: Tasha Kheiriddin [more here]

…There is growing evidence that for some voters, foreign matters played a key role, not due to personal preference, but foreign interference. And that interference had a direct impact on votes, seat count, and the shape of the 44th Parliament.

It started on August 25, when Chinese ambassador Cong Peiwu implied that Conservative leader Erin O’Toole preferred to advance the Conservatives’ “political interests” over our country’s relationship with China. Cong added that his country would oppose “hyping up issues related to China or smearing China.”

Suddenly, Chinese language social media platforms such as WeChat were rife with falsehoods smearing Conservative candidates, even suggesting that the party was planning to ban WeChat itself. Websites attacking Conservative candidates, including Kenny Chiu, Alice Wong and Bob Saroya sprang up. All three held ridings with a heavy concentration of Chinese-Canadian voters, and all three lost their seats to their Liberal opponents.

Why the animus? The Conservative platform included several get-tough measures on China, including barring Huawei from 5G networks, Magnitsky-style sanctions on Chinese rights violators and counselling universities not to partner with Chinese state-owned enterprises [see this post: “Wow! PM Trudeau’s Government Actually Acting vs PRC/PLA Infiltration of Canadian Universities–not so “Wow!” UPDATE“]. (In contrast, the Liberals made one lonely mention of fighting “illegal and unacceptable behaviour by authoritarian states,” by nations such as China, Iran and Russia.)

But it was also personal. In October 2020, O’Toole had taken Cong to task for comments the ambassador made about Canada granting asylum to Hong Kong dissidents. Cong had warned Canada against emboldening Hong Kong “criminals” and (irony of ironies) interfering in China’s internal affairs. “The Chinese ambassador has decided to engage in belligerent rhetoric unbecoming of his office” O’Toole said. “To be clear, this was a threat to the 300,000 Canadians in Hong Kong. And a barely veiled one at that.”

In Kenny Chiu’s case, the former MP had advanced a private member’s bill that would have set up a registry for agents of foreign governments. The law was modelled on Australian legislation and similar provisions in the United States [see the post linked to below after this quote]

The only way to truly get to the bottom of what happened is a full investigation. The questions is whether the new Liberal government will have the political courage to demand one. As Canada celebrates the return of the two Michaels, it is easy to let the euphoria over their release bury the very real possibility that our election was compromised. That would be a grave mistake. Today, it’s China; tomorrow, who knows? Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to stand up for democracy, the rule of law, and the rights of Canadians to choose their leaders.

Note this story from 2020 (we really must expel a whole bunch of people at the PRC’s consulates-general in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal whose influence/interference activities appear to be effectively out of control:

Richmond MP rebuts Chinese consul-general’s criticism of politicians

Steveston-Richmond East MP Kenny Chiu took offence at the consul-general of China in Vancouver, Tong Xiaoling, for targeting politicians who criticize the Chinese government’s actions in Hong Kong...

UPDATE: An excerpt from an opinion piece at the National Post:

How Canada can get tough on China

The time has come to frame a serious, clear and coherent strategy toward China

Author of the article: Jonathan Berkshire Miller [more here]

Canada must also take actions at home, including a whole-of-government effort to combat disinformation, serious discussions toward creating a foreign agent registry and tightening rules against foreign influence, interference and the threat posed by state-owned or state-affiliated companies that want to invest in, or contribute to, strategic infrastructure. This, of course, includes banning Huawei and other Chinese carriers from contributing to Canada’s 5G network…

An earlier post on Australia:

What Canada can Learn from Australia’s Anti-Foreign influence/Interference Actions–plus more on The Dragon vs The Beaver, with a Biden Twist

Other relevant posts:

Bets on Date for first RCMP Arrest for PRC Intimidation/Interference in Canada?

Group Led by Chinese-Canadians Warns of PRC’s Influence/Interference Activities in Canada

Why Won’t PM Trudeau Call Out PRC (and Russia) for “foreign interference, disinformation, espionage and hostile cyber-efforts”?

Mark Collins

Twitter: @Mark3ds

9 thoughts on “Don’t Bet on a PM Trudeau Government Investigating PRC Interference in Canada’s Election (note UPDATE)”

  1. Related, by Terry Glavin:

    Mark Collins

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  2. 1) Note this (mention of Canada in final para. quoted):

    ‘French study warns of the massive scale of Chinese influence around the world

    In a vast and detailed report, the Strategic Research Institute of France’s renowned Military College (Irsem) describes how “Machiavellic” China has built a tentacular network to exert its influence worldwide.

    The 650-page report, entitled “Chinese influence operations – a Machiavelli moment” digs through the layers of secret and not-so-secret institutions, actions and designs used by Beijing to manipulate western opinion.

    Written by Paul Cheron, an intelligence expert and Chinese specialist with credentials from Harvard and China’s most prestigeous university Qinghua, in partnership with political scientist Jean-Baptiste Jeangène Vilmer, a security specialist, the report is probably the most extensive analysis of China’s propaganda machine ever published in French.

    The report argues that for a long time China wanted more to be loved than feared, she wanted to seduce, projecting a positive image of herself in the world and so arousing admiration. Recently China has increasingly shown another side…

    “Its influence operations have hardened considerably in recent years and its methods increasingly resemble those employed by Moscow,” according to the report. Quoting Machiavelli’s The Prince, the authors say that China today thinks that “it is safer to be feared than to be loved”.

    The report meticulously maps out China’s means of exerting influence abroad, from “most benign (public diplomacy) to the most malignant, (clandestine activities),” including attempt to agressively manipulate public opinion abroad through think-tanks, “Confucius Insitutions” and media.

    “Wolf warrior diplomacy”

    There are planty of case studies of examples in Taiwan, Singapore, Sweden, Canada, operations targeting the 2019 Hong Kong protests and attempts to make people believe that the Covid-19 pandemic originated in the US, coinciding with the increasingly agressive wolf warrior diplomacy where individual Chinese ambassadors would attack their host countries through letters or televised interviews…’

    2) More on Canada, earlier post (note others listed at end):

    “Pro-PRC Chinese-Canadians vs Pro-Hong Kong ones”

    Pro-PRC Chinese-Canadians vs Pro-Hong Kong ones

    Mark Collins

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  3. Meanwhile note what this very usual suspect has been up to right after the release of hostages Kovrig and Spavor–note UFWD angles:

    ‘”Exclusive: Controversial senator attended pro-Beijing ceremony in Vancouver

    The senator accused of being a puppet for Beijing stood alongside the Deputy Consul General for the People’s Republic of China at an event celebrating 72 years of Communist rule and the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

    Yuen Pau Woo, a 2016 Justin Trudeau appointee, was the only federal politician at the Oct. 2 ceremony beside the Vancouver 2010 Olympic cauldron on Jack Poole Plaza. It was the day after China’s national day and a week since Meng Wanzhou returned to China and hostages Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor to Canada.

    Woo, sporting a Chinese Olympic Committee face mask, appeared at a public event in Vancouver for the first time since ex-Conservative cabinet minister and diplomat Chris Alexander publicly called for his resignation. Last June, Woo opposed the two-pronged House of Commons motion that called China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims genocide and asked the International Olympic Committee to find another host city.

    The afternoon was officially billed as the 3rd Chinese Culture and Arts Festival. The Chinese flag was raised and national anthem, the March of the Volunteers, sung at the biggest national day-related, outdoor event of its type since 2016’s controversial Vancouver city hall flag plaza ceremony. Co-hosts Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations and the Canada Sichuanese Friendship Association are associated with the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front foreign influence program.

    A report by Chinese government-linked Phoenix TV showed Deputy Consul General Wang Chengjun representing Xi Jinping’s government alongside Woo, Richmond Councillors Chak Au and Alexa Loo (a Canadian snowboarder at Vancouver 2010) and Burnaby Coun. James Wang…”
    https://thebreaker.news/business/jack-poole-plaza-china/

    Mark Collins

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  4. Yikes, this is scary– the PRC-influence rot and the Conservatives:

    ” Chinese-Canadian Tories urge O’Toole to resign, saying tough-on-China platform alienated voters

    ‘Why don’t we leave the destiny of China to the Chinese people who live inside?… Any time you’re interfering, what happens? You just raise the nationalism’

    A group representing Conservatives of Chinese descent is urging Erin O’Toole to resign as federal leader, charging that his call for a tougher approach to China alienated Chinese-Canadian voters and cost the party three seats in last month’s election.

    The Chinese Canadian Conservative Association is advocating a less-confrontational stance toward Beijing, saying immigrants from the Mainland don’t like the Communist Party but still feel affection for China as a nation.

    At a surprising news conference for local press recently, spokesman Joe Li — a regional councillor north of Toronto and three-time former Tory candidate — said the two Michaels were detained after “Canada started the war,” that China had a right to fly its planes into Taiwan’s air-defence zone and Canada should not publicly criticize Beijing’s human-rights abuses.

    Such views echo stances taken by the Chinese government itself on key issues…

    Former MP Kenny Chiu, defeated by 3,000 votes in Steveston-Richmond East, said Chinese-language news and social media were full of disinformation about the party’s position on China and his own private member’s bill to set up a registry for foreign agents. He suspects an organized campaign to distort the party’s message, while state-run media in China accused O’Toole of having an anti-Chinese agenda…

    Many experts believe Beijing’s detention in harsh conditions of Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig was a case of “hostage diplomacy” after Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested on a U.S. extradition request. Li suggested it was a natural response from Beijing, and praised Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for using “quiet diplomacy” to end the crisis.

    “Who started the war first? Canada did. They arrested Meng Wanzhou. Then China arrested the two Michaels.”

    Li said he personally favours unification of Communist China and Taiwan and said Beijing’s sabre-rattling toward Taipei is just a response to the United States sending warships through the international waters of the Taiwan Strait. China recently flew a record number of military planes into Taiwan’s air-defence zone, as President Xi Jinping makes increasingly aggressive vows to unite the two territories.

    “If China feels that Taiwan is part of China, they have a right to fly their planes over,” the councillor said…”
    https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/chinese-canadian-tories-urge-otoole-to-resign-saying-tough-on-china-platform-alienated-voters

    Holy panda. Note this from Terry Glavin:

    Plus from Andrew Coyne, another leading Canadian columnist:

    Mark Collins

    Mark Collins

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  5. Now on Dec. 1:

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  6. Oh dear–Conservatives now scared of PRC’s voting impact with Chinese Canadians:

    Mark Collins

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  7. Plus from same Globe and Mail story as at tweet above (https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-conservative-party-will-not-seek-to-bring-back-commons-china-committee/):

    Mark Collins

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  8. Former ambassador to PRC David Mulroney is very much on the yuan here:

    Mark Collins

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