Little-Known Component of Canadian Intel Community Blows the Gaff on Organ of PRC/CCP Interference

Further to this post,

Globe and Mail to PM Justin Trudeau Gov’t: Time to Get Real about Foreign Interference, esp. by PRC (note UPDATE)

the intelligence people at the Canada Border Services Agency (see here and here) recently produced, at a Canadian court hearing, some very interesting information about a part of the CCP’s United Front Work Department–from a story by two excellent investigative reporters at Global News who know the PRC file very well:

Canadian government report accuses China of widespread campaign of espionage, manipulation

By Stewart Bell & Sam Cooper

A government report on Chinese espionage activities in Canada accuses Beijing of engaging in a “systematic campaign of intelligence-gathering, persuasion, influence, and manipulation” against the Chinese community.

In the report obtained by Global News, Canadian officials alleged the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office [more here on the Office and the UFWD] was tasked with “influencing or manipulating” community members, and using “coercive tactics” against dissidents and minorities.

“This involves intimidation of OC (Overseas Chinese) at every level of society,” the report said.

“The managing of their behaviour is accomplished through incentive or disincentive, as well as intelligence-gathering, surveillance, and subversion against OC communities [emphasis added].”

A remarkably candid overview of Chinese intelligence activities, the report was disclosed during a recent court case involving a former Overseas Chinese Affairs Office (OCAO) employee who attempted to immigrate to Canada.

While China has been widely accused of targeting the diaspora, particularly pro-Taiwan and democracy activists, as well as Uyghurs and Falun Gong practitioners, it is rare for the Canadian government’s take on such activities to be made public [emphasis added, especially in such damning, specific language].

China claims the OCAO is responsible for Chinese citizens living abroad but the Canadian report makes the case that it “engages in espionage” and “is known to operate in Canada.”

“The OCAO is involved in covert action and coercion against OC communities and other minorities around the world by targeting Chinese dissidents overseas, and engaging in intelligence gathering on OC and their activities,” it said.

“The OCAO works to undermine individuals identified as threats to the CPC (Communist Party of China), and it organizes and monitors ‘overseas Chinese business, student, cultural, media, and political networks.’”

Written by the Canada Border Services Agency’s security screening branch, the March 2020 report is a rare look at Canada’s official assessment of Chinese espionage and foreign influence activities in the country and around the world [emphasis added].

Last week, the Federal Court dismissed an appeal filed by the former OCAO employee, Yong Zhang, seeking to reverse a decision denying his application for permanent residence.

The court ruled the immigration officer who processed his case had “reasonably determined” there were “reasonable grounds to believe that information gathering was taking place in Canada against overseas Chinese communities.”..

Mehmet Tohti, a Uyghur Community leader in Ottawa, said the details of the CBSA report, and the judge’s ruling, were accurate and spoke to the espionage and foreign interference threats in Canada.

He alleged he was among those targeted.

Hours before he was to testify before a Parliamentary committee on China in July 2020, he said he received a message saying his mother was “dead.” Uyghur rallies in Toronto have also attracted counter-protests that he suspects were orchestrated by the overseas affairs office [emphasis added–presumably by staff at the consulate general in Toronto; the bloated (for genuine consular work) staffs of it, and the other PRC consulates general in Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal, should be severely reduced by our government and hang the consequences for Canadian offices in China]

In the report, which quoted the U.S. government, academic journals and news accounts, the CBSA called the Chinese intelligence services among the most active in the world, and said they were evolving and “becoming more aggressive [good OSINT work eh? and I’m sure they have classified support].”

“Although estimates on the number of spies vary, it has been reported that ‘China can rightly claim to have the world’s largest, most amorphous, but also most active intelligence sector … as any Chinese, especially those from China, from student to CEO, are potential active intelligence assets [emphasis added, no politically correct punch pulling],’” the CBSA report said.

The report said China’s communist party was preoccupied with “the elimination of rival discourse or potential threats among OC groups that are critical of the regime, or that challenge its hold on power.”

“To mitigate these threats, the CPC replies on the OCAO, which has established ‘attachments in PRC [Peoples Republic of China] embassies, consulates, and representative agencies in almost every country to personally liaise with local OC communities.”..

OCAO “identifies enemies of the PRC, monitors diaspora, manipulates organizations, and is involved in covert intelligence gathering. The OCAO is focused on the elimination of threats to the regime and it seeks to undermine those threats in the countries in which it operates.”

Former Conservative MP Kenny Chiu said the Chinese communist party “considers overseas Chinese as an asset to be selfishly used through manipulation and control for advancing their interests.”Chui, who lost his Richmond, B.C., seat in the last federal election following what he alleged were attacks from Chinese communist party operatives [see this post: “Don’t Bet on a PM Trudeau Government Investigating PRC Interference in Canada’s Election (note UPDATE)“], said Canada was not doing enough to fight foreign interference.

“The result is that ironically, in a multicultural society like Canada, many communities may prioritize their priorities more aligning with these foreign states, rather than what is critical for themselves and their families living here.”

Wow. Amazing honesty in a Canadian government report made public, even if an indirect manner. One hopes PM Trudeau’s government are questioned hard on the report. The House of Commons resumes sitting January 31.

A very relevant post, note others mentioned at end:

The Long Reach of the Dragon’s Claws, Hong Kongers in Canada Section

And a National Post story from almost exactly three years ago by another reporter doing excellent work on the PRC’s activities in Canada:

How China uses shadowy United Front as ‘magic weapon’ to try to extend its influence in Canada

Its activities include influencing the Chinese diaspora to back China, co-opting foreign political and economic elites and promoting Beijing’s agenda worldwide

Author of the article: Tom Blackwell

Lots of info on nefarious Chicom activities in Canada has been public for quite some time. About time that we are really waking up. Now let’s have some charges laid and some pseudo-dips PNG-ed.

Mark Collins

Twitter: @mark3ds

3 thoughts on “Little-Known Component of Canadian Intel Community Blows the Gaff on Organ of PRC/CCP Interference”

  1. This on foreign interference from CSIS is also available in Russian, Arabic, Farsi and two types of Chinese characters–which says a lot about who the usual suspects are:

    Mark Collins


  2. Lots more organs of PRC/CCP influence in Canada at this tweet:

    Mark Collins


  3. More from the sharp Tom Blackwell:

    ‘Chinese government agency that works with Canadians involved in espionage, Federal Court affirms
    Despite its apparently longstanding efforts to influence and monitor Chinese Canadians, the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office has rarely been publicly called-out by authorities here

    The outfit has worked with a top Canadian scientist, a member of the Ontario legislature and children in the Toronto area.

    Its name sounds more bureaucratic than menacing.

    But the Chinese government’s Overseas Chinese Affairs Office (OCAO) is involved in espionage that harms Canada’s interests, a Federal Court judge has affirmed in what appears to be a precedent-setting new ruling.

    Beijing critics say the judgement — upholding an immigration officer’s decision on the issue as “reasonable” — represents a rare official rebuke of the office, now a bureau of a larger Communist Party department.

    Despite its apparently longstanding efforts to influence and monitor Chinese Canadians, the agency has rarely been publicly called-out by authorities here, says Charles Burton, a former diplomat in Beijing and senior fellow with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute…

    The Canadian Security Intelligence Service and RCMP both have advised the government about interference by such Chinese organizations, he said, but politicians tend to suppress the information for fear of undermining trade between the two countries.

    The actual targets of the Office are often too frightened — for themselves or for their relatives in China — to speak out, said Burton.

    A spokesperson for the United Front Work Department, the Chinese Communist Party division that now controls the OCAO, did not comment directly on the court ruling, but through the Chinese embassy in Ottawa depicted its work as above-board and positive…’

    Mark Collins


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s