Clear Distinction Between CCP and Chinese People Needed in Combatting Beijing’s Foreign Interference: Report

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With stories of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) rampant targeting of Chinese diaspora and dissidents of the authorities successful Canada coming to airy successful caller months, a caller study from a House of Commons committee urged the authorities of Canada to propulsion backmost against specified threats and to find ways to support Canadians from arbitrary detentions by malign regimes.

The report, published by the Special Committee connected the Canada–People’s Republic of China Relationship (CACN), compiles testimonies from 50 witnesses who person appeared astatine the committee implicit 2 parliamentary sessions. Many witnesses person offered stories and idiosyncratic experiences of intimidation and harassment by the Chinese regime.

The study noted that the CACN committee’s nationalist information survey connected the contented archetypal began during China’s arbitrary detention of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who were yet held successful Chinese situation for implicit 1,000 days earlier being released successful September 2021. However, the study besides drew attraction to different cases wherever the CCP has arbitrarily detained Canadians, oregon radical with links to Canada.

Citing Alex Neve, elder chap astatine the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs astatine the University of Ottawa, the study drew attraction to Sun Qian, a Falun Gong practitioner, who has been imprisoned since 2017 and was sentenced to 8 much years successful 2020. Sun “supposedly voluntarily” renounced her Canadian citizenship and has not been heard from for much than 2 years, Neve told the CACN connected Oct. 25, 2022. Sun is suspected of giving a coerced confession nether prolonged torture portion successful constabulary custody.

Epoch Times Photo Sun Qian, a Falun Dafa adherent who has been illegally detained successful China since February 2017, successful an undated photo. (The Epoch Times/Handout)

Neve besides raised concerns astir Huseyin Celil, a Uyghur Canadian and quality rights activistic successful China, who had been detained for much than 16 years and whose household that lives successful Burlington, Ontario, has heard nary quality of him for 5 years.

As of 2019, determination were astir 120 Canadians successful custody successful the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the study said, citing a 2019 briefing from Marta Morgan, then-deputy curate of Global Affairs Canada.

Distinguishing the CCP From Chinese People

The CACN study came as amounting grounds and media reports successful caller months exposed the CCP’s overseas interference and infiltration operations successful Canada, which prompted Ottawa to declare persona non grata a Chinese diplomat implicit threatening Conservative MP Michael Chong’s household successful Hong Kong. Facing mounting pressure, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino has besides pledged to introduce a overseas cause registry “as soon arsenic possible.”

While respective witnesses person warned the committee that the CCP seeks to “mobilize and weaponize” the Chinese diaspora successful Canada done influence, surveillance, and intimidation,” the study highlighted the request to “distinguish betwixt the radical of China and the Chinese state” and the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

Lynette Ong, subordinate prof astatine the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy astatine the University of Toronto, highlighted the request to person much knowing of the CCP’s tools of interference, specified arsenic the United Front Works Department (UFWD), which is described arsenic the regime’s “primary overseas interference tool” by Public Safety Canada.

Meanwhile, Ong besides cautioned astir conflating the Chinese radical with the CCP.

“I deliberation it is besides important to admit that the diasporas are not passive oregon apolitical agents of their location governments. In general, the diasporas person agencies and incentives of their own,” Ong told the CACN successful May 2021. “In Canada’s context, it is besides important to admit that the Chinese diaspora is acold from being a homogeneous community, and their allegiance to the Chinese government, oregon the CCP, should not beryllium automatically assumed.”

To code these challenging issues, the CACN committee made respective cardinal recommendations.

The study called connected Global Affairs Canada to designate an idiosyncratic arsenic a dedicated advocator for Canadians arbitrarily detained abroad. This advocator would enactment with countries and multilateral organizations to beforehand the Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention successful state-to-state relations to much jurisdictions. Additionally, the advocator would assistance with consular affairs related to Canadians facing arbitrary detention and research measures to support Canadians from this practice, peculiarly successful state-to-state relations.

Additionally, the study recommended enacting initiatives to antagonistic misinformation and disinformation disseminated by actors associated with the CCP and targeted Chinese diaspora communities successful Canada, including the backing of projects done the Digital Citizen Initiative.

Justina Wheale contributed to this report.