X

New Report Examines China’s Influence Operations In Canada

June 28th, 2021 13:39

The Alliance Cana­da Hong Kong, a Cana­da-based NGO advo­cat­ing for democ­ra­cy in Hong Kong, has pub­lished a report exam­in­ing China’s for­eign influ­ence oper­a­tions in Cana­da. Accord­ing to the report, titled “In Plain Sight: Beijing’s Unre­strict­ed Net­work of For­eign Influ­ence in Canada”:

Beijing’s strat­e­gy has includ­ed tar­get­ing of glob­al net­works, inter­na­tion­al norms, and mul­ti­lat­er­al plat­forms. Weaponiz­ing inte­gra­tion, the CCP carves its place in the inter­na­tion­al sphere, join­ing estab­lished glob­al insti­tu­tions to ulti­mate­ly under­mine and reshape them — Unit­ed Nations, Wall Street, Hol­ly­wood, inter­na­tion­al ports and infra­struc­tures, World Health Orga­ni­za­tion to name a few. While there have been Cana­di­an Secu­ri­ty Intel­li­gence Ser­vice (CSIS) brief­in­gs, media reports, and repeat­ed warn­ings of wide­spread Chi­nese for­eign inter­fer­ence oper­a­tions in Cana­da, there still is a per­sis­tent lack of knowl­edge and under­stand­ing of these net­works of influ­ence with­in Cana­di­an insti­tu­tions, pol­i­tics, and society.

The tac­tics deployed by the CCP and its affil­i­ates fall under sev­en broad cat­e­gories cov­ered in this report: (1) polit­i­cal influ­ence, (2) elite cap­ture, (3) sur­veil­lance and intim­i­da­tion, (4) infor­ma­tion and nar­ra­tive dis­cur­sion, (5) aca­d­e­m­ic influ­ence and intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties, (6) nation­al secu­ri­ty, and (7) the Unit­ed Front Work Depart­ment (UFWD).

The report is an overview and pro­vides some insights into the CCP’s influ­ence oper­a­tions in Cana­da. The activ­i­ties car­ried out by the Chi­nese par­ty-state and its affil­i­ates often blurs the line between for­eign influ­ence and for­eign inter­fer­ence oper­a­tions. To dif­fer­en­ti­ate between influ­ence and inter­fer­ence, it is imper­a­tive to con­sid­er these activ­i­ties under three cat­e­gories: covert, coer­cion, and corruption.

Read the full report here.

Chi­na is known for its use of “soft pow­er” in order to sup­port its goals of expand­ing glob­al influ­ence. It has been active­ly attempt­ing to inter­fere in the cur­rent US elec­tions, albeit at a small­er scale than Rus­sia and with the aim of sow­ing con­fu­sion rather than sup­port­ing either can­di­date. For more GIOR report­ing on Chi­na, go here.