Friday, November 10, 2023
CCP’s Enhanced, Covert Interference in Canada: A Deeper Look
This is a snap shot and it is focused on Falun gong. Commercial expionage and real espionage remains off the table but can be inferred from yherir destruction of Nortel, 23 years ago.
The CCP keeps close tabs on its citizens in order to subborn them wherever possible and this process needs to only be partialy successful.
The apparent level of activity can be extrapolated to the whole developed world and certainly to all our universities. what we have is a background infection of subborned students who may get lucky which allows the CCP to blackmail them. by definition their loyalties are compromised and this opens them to been spies.
CCP’s Enhanced, Covert Interference in Canada: A Deeper Look
The report, released by the Falun Dafa Association of Canada, details Chinese Communist Party (CCP) strategies for foreign interference.The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa in a file photo. (The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick)
By Andrew Chen
As China's foreign interference in Canada draws increasing scrutiny, a new report details how the communist regime influences politicians and stifles persecuted groups. Notably, it highlights ongoing efforts to suppress support for Falun Gong adherents and their quest to end the persecution of their spiritual practice, which began in 1999.
The 130-page report, released by the Falun Dafa Association of Canada (FDAC) on Oct. 25, details Chinese Communist Party (CCP) strategies for foreign interference, focusing on adherents of Falun Dafa, also called Falun Gong, in Canada.
The tactics are primarily attributed to the Chinese diplomatic missions. They include coercing politicians, spreading disinformation, impersonating Falun Gong adherents to discredit the group, spying on adherents, and seeking their exclusion from community events. They also include cyber attacks as well as harassment, intimidation, and physical assaults against adherents.
The report highlights the gradual evolution of the CCP's tactics over the past 24 years. It says the FDAC has "observed that the Chinese mission’s previously blunt approach toward Canadian politicians and officials has become more subtle and clandestine."
The report cited key incidents driving this shift. In 2004, Chinese Vice-Consul General in Toronto Pan Xinchun was found liable for defaming a Falun Gong practitioner in the Toronto Star. In 2005, the Edmonton Police hate unit recognized materials disseminated by the Chinese Consulate in Calgary as hate propaganda and recommended prosecuting the two diplomats involved for "wilful promotion of hatred" targeting Falun Gong.
Wenta Fan holds a sign with a portrait of his mother, Yanjie Luo, who in 2011 was sentenced to 13 years in prison in China for practising Falun Gong, outside Toronto City Hall on Aug. 25, 2016. (Yi Ling/Epoch Times)
A factor contributing to this change has been the public resistance displayed by Canadian officials who have encountered the CCP's interference against Falun Gong practitioners, the report said.
The FDAC reports that, in an attempt to evade scrutiny, Chinese missions increasingly use agents and proxies to infiltrate political offices in the host countries, influence politicians, and disseminate fake emails, posing as Falun Gong practitioners.
Chinese Mission’s TacticsChinese diplomats exert significant efforts to shape Canadian politicians’ perspectives on Falun Gong, often resorting to threats that non-compliance with the regime could jeopardize Canada-China trade relations, the FDAC report said.
For example, in 2003, China's charge d'affaires in Canada Chu Guangyou reportedly wrote to Liberal MP Jim Peterson allegedly conveying the sensitivity of the Falun Gong issue and its potential effect on Canada-China relations. Mr. Chu stated: "I hope you and your government will understand our position and be vigilant against any attempt of Falun Gong to jeopardize our bilateral relations," according to the National Post in an 2004 article cited by the FDAC report. A package containing anti-Falun Gong materials was reportedly enclosed with Mr. Chu's letter.
The FDAC has documented numerous incidents of similar materials being distributed to other Canadian politicians.
In 2001, a British Columbia MP wrote to then-Chinese ambassador to Canada, Mei Ping, expressing concern about the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong. In response, the MP received a three-page defamatory letter and other anti-Falun Gong materials from Mr. Mei. The FDAC report included a copy of this letter, stamped as submitted to the House of Commons on June 14, 2001. The identity of the MP was redacted in the submission.
CCP's Anti-Falun Gong Working GroupFalun Gong is a spiritual practice rooted in Buddhist traditions. In addition to five meditative exercises, the practice emphasizes the development of moral character centred on the principles of "truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance."
Due to its health benefits, Falun Gong rapidly gained widespread popularity in China after being introduced to the public in 1992. Official Chinese government data estimated that between 70 million and 100 million Chinese citizens were practising Falun Gong by the late 1990s.
However, Jiang Zermin, the Chinese leader at the time, perceived the practice's popularity as a threat to the regime's totalitarian control. In July 1999, he initiated a nationwide mass arrest and persecution campaign with the aim of eradicating the practice. As part of this campaign, the CCP established extrajudicial security entities, notably the 610 Office, with a specific mandate to eradicate Falun Gong.
Under the 610 Office, a Special Anti-Falun Gong Working Group was also formed with the specific mission of suppressing Falun Gong adherents outside China.
As cited in the FDAC report, former Chinese diplomat Chen Yonglin, a prominent defector who had held a senior position in the Chinese Consulate in Sydney, Australia, before he defected in 2005, testified to the existence of this working group.
Police detain a Falun Gong practitioner in Tiananmen Square as a crowd watches in Beijing on Oct. 1, 2000. (Chien-min Chung/AP Photo)
In his 2008 affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Mr. Chen revealed that this working group is embedded within every Chinese consulate and embassy around the world where there are Falun Gong adherents. He also confirmed that he himself was a member of the working group during his time serving as consul for political affairs at the Chinese Consulate in Sydney.
Chinese diplomats within this special unit are assigned the responsibility of pressuring politicians in the host country to abstain from contact with Falun Gong practitioners, avoid making public endorsements or proclamations in favour of Falun Gong, and exclude practitioners from civic events, Mr. Chen said.
Citing a record from a working group meeting in February 2001, which was attached to his affidavit, Mr. Chen pointed out that this special unit employs a number of other tactics to target the Falun Gong community in Australia. They include mobilizing local Chinese diaspora, businesses, and students to write to the government, police department, and the Australian foreign affairs and trade ministries to lodge complaints about Falun Gong protests held in front of the Chinese Consulate to call for justice.
A similar CCP unit operating in Canada came to light in April 2007. Zhang Jiyan, a defector and the wife of a diplomat from the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa, disclosed the existence of a 10-person squad tasked with "fighting Falun Gong" in Canada. The FDAC report said that this squad was under the leadership of a Chinese political affairs minister-counsellor.
Co-Opting PoliticiansThe FDAC has voiced "serious concern" regarding several Canadian politicians who it says have aligned themselves with the Chinese regime's efforts to marginalize the Falun Gong community in Canada.
The report references multiple media articles that highlight Michael Chan, a former Ontario MPP currently serving as the deputy mayor of Markham, Ontario, as a politician perceived as being "close to the Chinese regime." Mr. Chan has voiced support for Beijing's suppression of the democratic movement in Hong Kong. He has also reportedly met with suspected Chinese intelligence operatives in activities related to Canada's 2019 and 2021 federal election campaigns, according to The Globe and Mail.
Another politician mentioned in the FDAC report is Ontario MPP Vincent Ke. According to the report, Mr. Ke is alleged to have discouraged fellow MPPs from expressing support for Falun Gong. This information was revealed by another Ontario MPP to members of the Falun Gong community in early 2023.
In March 2023, Mr. Ke resigned from Ontario's governing Progressive Conservative caucus after a Global News report alleged that he was part of China's election interference network in Canada. Mr. Ke has denied the allegations and has launched a libel lawsuit against Global News.
ImpersonationA more recent tactic adopted by the CCP to discredit Falun Gong involves impersonating adherents of the practice to send bizarre and sometimes threatening or derogatory emails and letters to Canadian politicians and businesses, as reported by the FDAC.
The FDAC report noted that those Canadian officials who have limited knowledge or interactions with the Falun Gong community are most vulnerable to the CCP’s disinformation and intimidation campaigns. In contrast, the report states that "officials who are more familiar with Falun Gong are in a position to recognize the falsehood and the propagandistic nature of the content of the letters and seek timely clarification from practitioners."
Politicians who have received "bogus emails" from individuals impersonating Falun Gong practitioners, as cited in the FDAC report, include Liberal MP Judy Sgro, who co-chairs the parliamentary friendship group Canadian Parliamentary Friends of Falun Gong; NDP MP Peter Julian; Conservative MP Scott Reid; and former Alberta premier Jason Kenney. Chrystia Freeland, finance minister and deputy prime minister, is also reported to have received a similar email in 2017 during her tenure as foreign affairs minister.
The FDAC notes that the systematic and persistent email impersonation and vilification campaign is not limited to Canada. It describes the campaign as a "global phenomenon." Its report says that identical or similar emails have been sent to politicians in various other countries, including the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. According to the FDAC, this pattern underscores the pervasiveness of the communist regime's interference in countries worldwide.