Local Canadian media reported last June that a celebration was held to mark the 25th anniversary of the takeover of Hong Hong by the Chinese Government. According to the Richmond News report, the event VIP table included the Chinese Consul General and two local officials, as well as the CEO of an important think tank:
June 27, 2022 A small group of protesters gathered in downtown Vancouver June 23 to denounce a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Inside the Fairmont Hotel, the Hong Kong Economic Trade Office, which represents the region in Canada, hosted the event with a VIP table. The table consisted of China’s consul general Tong Xiaoling, former Conservative MP Alice Wong, Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie and Jeff Nankivell, president and CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation, a government-sanctioned independent think-tank that wields influence on lawmakers. Outside, a small group of protesters held signs denouncing the Chinthe eventese Communist Party for its erosion of the city’s democratic institutions and autonomy that should otherwise be upheld under a “one country, two systems” arrangement until 2047. Fenella Sung of Vancouverites Concerned about Hong Kong said Brodie, in particular, was offside for celebrating with representatives of an authoritarian regime that is facing multiple international outcries for human rights abuses. “Given the huge influence of Hong Kong immigrants, or those who came by way of the Hong Kong pathway, seeking refuge here in Canada to start a new life in the past two or three years, I think we cannot allow ourselves to just be so naive, or just be so wilfully blind to just look at the invitation as no harm and it’s just standard practice,” said Sung.
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According to the report, the issue of foreign influence and interference has been raised in Richmond, a suburb of Vancouver, since after the September 2021 federal election when Steveston-Richmond East Conservative MP Kenny Chiu lost following accusations of pro-Beijing messaging and misinformation on Chinese state-controlled social media (WeChat). The article also cited Canadian Security and Intelligence Services (CSIS) director David Vigneault, who has publicly been briefing local government officials on foreign interference. In early October 2021, the GIOR had reported the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and related actors were targeting the credibility of Chinese-Canadian federal candidates and Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole in the fall 2021 federal election.
Canadian media also reported in early October 2021 that a senator accused of being a puppet for Beijing participated in a Vancouver event celebrating 72 years of Chinese Communist rule and the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. According to thebreaker.news report, Yuen Pau Woo, a 2016 Justin Trudeau appointee, was the only federal politician at the October 2 ceremony, which featured the Chinese Deputy Consul General:
October 4, 2021 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.
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The report explains that the event billed as the 3rd Chinese Culture and Arts Festival, was co-hosted by the Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations and the Canada Sichuanese Friendship Association, both associated with the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front foreign influence program.
The United Front Work Department is a little-known Beijing-based agency with branches around the world that seeks to implement the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) plans to set up and connect an extensive network of associations, business groups, friendship societies, or cultural groups supportive of the CCP and to ensure that its overseas citizens, and others of ethnic Chinese descent, stay loyal. According to a US government report, United Front work promotes Beijing’s preferred global narrative, pressures individuals living in free and open societies to self-censor and avoid discussing issues unfavorable to the CCP and harass or undermine groups critical of Beijing’s policies.
For a complete timeline of related events in the Vancouver area, go here.