From identifying “enemies” and monitoring dissidents to manipulating local organizations, Beijing is using every means in its toolbox to silence members of Chinese communities overseas, including in Canada, whom he sees as a threat, according to a government report.
The report showed that China is actively engaged in a “systematic campaign of intelligence-gathering, persuasion, influence and manipulation” against dissenting voices through its Overseas Chinese Affairs Office (OCAO). .
The OCAO, which the Chinese regime claims to “protect[s] the legitimate rights and interests of overseas Chinese,” was charged with “influencing or manipulating” members of the community and using “coercive tactics” against those who challenged the regime, according to the report. .
“That implies intimidation of OC (Overseas Chinese) at all levels of society,” said the report, authored by the Canada Border Security Agency (CBSA) in March 2020 and obtained by Global Newswho published an article about it on January 26.
“Managing their behavior is accomplished through inducements or disincentives, as well as intelligence gathering, surveillance, and subversion against OC communities.”
The CBSA report added that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) seeks to eliminate any perceived overseas threat to its rule, such as Taiwan independence advocates and Falun Gong members, and relies on the OCAO, which is established “in almost every country to provide personal liaison with the local OC communities”.
According to Global News, the report was leaked in a recent court case involving former OCAO employee Yong Zhang and his wife Yuxia Gao, who were both denied permanent residency in Canada when their appeal was denied. rejected by the Federal Court on January 19.
In her decisionJudge Vanessa Rochester wrote that while the couple were sponsored by their daughter, who is a naturalized citizen, a Canadian immigration officer in Hong Kong had ruled them inadmissible due to Zhang’s previous employment with the OCAO.
“The officer determined that there were reasonable grounds to believe that the OCAO had committed acts of spying which are “contrary to the interests of Canada,” she wrote.
Zhang’s attorney, Jacqueline Bonisteel, told Global that her client was never suspected of involvement in spying for China; he was only a junior member of an organization that Canada accused of spying.
“He had no personal involvement, he’s not a spy,” Bonisteel said.
The judge noted that Zhang was a computer technician from 1983 until 2002, when he was transferred to an administrative position. She wrote in her ruling that Immigration Canada noted that by the time Zhang retired in 2004, he was a “chief staff member.”
The CBSA report shares a similar conclusion with the immigration officer, as it claims the OCAO “engages in espionage” and “is known to operate in Canada.”
“The OCAO is involved in secret actions and coercion against OC communities and other minorities around the world by targeting overseas Chinese dissidents and engaging in intelligence gathering about OC and their activities,” he said.
“OCAO works to undermine individuals identified as threats to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party), and it organizes and monitors ‘overseas Chinese business, student, cultural, media and political networks’.”
The CBSA report, which cites US government, academic journals and news reports, according to Global News, said China’s intelligence services were among the “most active” in the world and “becoming more aggressive “.
“While estimates on the number of spies vary, it has been reported that ‘China can rightly claim to have the largest, most amorphous, but also most active intelligence sector in the world… like any Chinese , especially those from China, from student to CEO, are potential active intelligence assets,” he said.
Sheng Xuea Chinese-Canadian Democratic activist in Toronto, said deep-rooted pro-Beijing elements planted by the CCP threaten national security, and not just in Canada.
“The CCP’s threat and infiltration has formed a network mode of action in democratic countries. As long as there are incidents that are not conducive to the CCP, CCP-affected organizations and personnel in those countries will take immediate action,” she said in a previous interview with The Epoch Times.
Gloria Fung, President of Canada-Hong Kong Liaisonsaid that in addition to attempting to silence Canada’s business, cultural and media sectors, the CCP also actively seeks to muzzle any politicians who speak openly about the regime’s brutality and misconduct.
She cited the example of former Conservative MP Kenny Chiu who lost his seat in the riding of Steveston–Richmond East in British Columbia in the 2021 federal election.
“They also interfered with the democratic integrity of the country during the recent federal election by spreading false news about Kenny Chiu’s Bill C-282, claiming it would lead to discrimination or racism against ethnic Canadians. Chinese,” Fung said in a previous interview. .
Bill C-282 is a private member’s bill that seeks to require those who work for foreign entities to register as foreign agents in order to increase transparency.
Chiu told The Epoch Times in a previous interview that he has been the target of misinformation in previous election campaigns, but in 2021 “it has been exceptional”.
The two Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentariansa special parliamentary committee, issued reports warning of the growing threats by foreign state actors to Canada’s national security.
The CBSA report says Beijing will stop at nothing to root out “rivalry rhetoric or potential threats” to its existence.
“OCAO is focused on eliminating threats to the regime and seeks to undermine those threats in the countries in which it operates,” he said.
Noé Chartier contributed to this report