Recently there has been a plethora of media reporting on the influence of a foreign government and its values in Canada. Worries about the effect on media, education, natural resources, their increase in numbers in government and therefore policies. Concern about the loyalty of immigrants; to their home country rather than Canada. One might refer to this as soft power exerting sway on Canadian values.
The concerns being shared are not about Islam, Iran or Saudi Arabia. That would be Islamophobic. No. The discussion is about China.
I am sharing the concerns reported by Tom Blackwell from the National Post. Imagine if we were talking about Islam. You have to imagine because it is Islamophobic to criticize Islam in the West. But not China. Hmmm.
President Xi Jinping, has overseen what one leading academic expert calls a “massive expansion” in China’s use of soft power overseas, much of it under the auspices of the United Front Work Department, a shadowy offshoot of the Chinese communist party. Charles Burton, a political scientist at Ontario’s Brock University, who closely monitors China-related rights issues, pointed out that the problem with the United Front Work Department is its engagement with persons of Chinese origin who have Canadian citizenship and encourage them to serve the interests of the motherland, when in fact the motherland should be Canada.
It appears the Chinese government has infiltrated our education system.
The Confucius Institute, an organization affiliated with the education ministry of the government of China, which had offered its services to teach Mandarin to the city’s schoolchildren, is now entrenched at three school boards and on nine university and college campuses across Canada.
Consul General Fang Li had urged locals to come out in support of the institute.
To encourage such leanings, the United Front’s tools include both the Confucius Institutes, and the less-well-known Chinese Students and Scholars Associations at post-secondary institutions across Canada — and in numerous other countries. The associations are sometimes dispatched to counteract protests against visiting Chinese dignitaries, promote the homeland and monitor the activities of Chinese students.
Michel Juneau-Katsuya, former Asia-Pacific chief for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, documented ties between the leaders of a number of Chinese-Canadian groups and China, arguing in a presentation to the Toronto school board the groups “are following Beijing’s request, not the Canadian constituents.”
(China) is increasingly able to use its soft-power ‘magic weapons’ to help influence the decision-making of foreign governments and societies.
Kenny Chiu, a losing 2015 federal Conservative candidate in B.C. stated:
“There are many immigrants coming to Canada who are actually very proud of the development that has occurred in the motherland.”
Last August (2018), Xi made a direct appeal to ethnic Chinese residents of countries like Canada — what Beijing calls the “overseas Chinese” — urging them to
“remember the call from the Party and the people, spread China’s voice, support the country’s development, safeguard national interests.”
Canada’s Chinese-language media, with the exception of Falun Gong’s Epoch Times and one or two other newspapers, toe Beijing’s line, says Cheuk Kwan, head of the Toronto Association for Democracy in China. Most of the Chinese-language media in Canada are now owned by businesses tied to Beijing, offering positive coverage of China, while Chinese-Canadian community groups have largely fallen under the sway of the “motherland.”
Charles Burton says one of the United Front’s key goals is to soften opinions around issues like Chinese companies’ acquisition. Canadian natural resources and technology.
It’s difficult to map exactly how the United Front Work Department deploys its resources in places like Canada but its influence has been helped by immigration in the last two decades made up increasingly of people raised under Communist rule on the Chinese mainland. Burton believes a “substantial” portion of Chinese diplomatic staff in Canada are likely United Front operatives, interacting with Chinese-Canadian leaders, politicians, students and others. China’s Overseas Affairs Office — under Xi, is now officially part of the United Front.
“An organization (United Front Work Department) that once had another purpose has gradually been taken over to serve China’s national interest.”
A training manual for United Front cadres, obtained by the Financial Times newspaper, notes with approval that the number of politicians of Chinese descent elected in Toronto had almost doubled between 2003 and 2006.
Chinese-Canadian politicians, meanwhile, have to be cognizant that recent Chinese immigrants are mostly products of the mainland Communist regime, said Kenny Chiu, a losing 2015 federal Conservative candidate in B.C.
“That has a significant impact or influence on the view of China in the community,” Chiu said. “There are many immigrants coming to Canada who are actually very proud of the development that has occurred in the motherland…A lot of people don’t think of the long arm of influence of China in Canada, because they’re under the influence, to put it mildly…Outsiders like me, who is a Hong Kong immigrant … we see very clearly that this is a United Front effort, a very subtle, soft-power kind of advance into Canadian society.”
Why is there no backlash when critiquing China? No shaming for those who criticize China’s alleged influence over our policies?
Remove the words Chinese and China and replace with Islam and Muslims. Do you think you would be permitted to question the influence of Islam in Canada?
Has the media investigated Islamic organizations that might be fronts for Islamic propaganda?
Or the Sharia Compliant Economy?
What about the influence of Islam on education?
We are concerned about the number of Chinese people elected to government in Canada. What about Muslim?
Under the umbrella of Islamophobia, far too many people have been silenced. One must not insult Islam-to insult is apparently “racist” or xenophobic. And this is especially true in Canada where our sitting PM, Justin Trudeau has told us in no uncertain terms that Islam is not incompatible with the west and that people who went overseas to fight with ISIS are not that bad. They can be rehabilitated.
If we can criticize the spread of China’s ideology, we must be free to criticize Islam.
From the Ethics of the Fathers: “Rabbi Tarfon used to say, it is not incumbent upon you to complete the task, but you are not exempt from undertaking it.”