Canada’s Chinese election meddling probe ‘absurd’ could lead to ‘pathological’ audience

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its state management Worldwide times a propaganda newspaper denounced Canadian officials for calling for an investigation into Communist Party election interference, denouncing the minimal investigation organized by far-left Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday as “absurd”.

Trudeau and his leftist Liberal Party have faced years of allegations of improper ties to the Chinese government and businessmen associated with the Chinese regime dating back to 2016. However, a report appeared in February in the Globe and Mailciting alleged leaks from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), interest in the topic rekindled as the paper alleged that intelligence officials believed China was using a sophisticated device to sway election results against Conservative Party candidates.

Both the Conservatives and the New Democratic Party (NDP), to the left of the Liberal Party, have expressed deep concern over the leaks and have demanded a public inquiry into the matter – a demand Trudeau has not complied with. Trudeau instead announced Monday, under intense pressure, plans to appoint a “special rapporteur” to investigate the leaks. Canadian Election Commissioner Caroline Simard announced that the country’s top election commission would launch its own investigation into the matter, but that process would be confidential and necessarily smaller than a full-scale investigation ordered by Trudeau, as opposition parties had requested.

The Chinese Communist Party has repeatedly denied any attempt to influence the outcome of the Canadian election. On Wednesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning was asked to comment on Trudeau’s “special rapporteur” plan; Mao had not held her daily briefing on the Tuesday following the announcement, as Foreign Minister Qin Gang held an extended press conference that day.

“China is always against interference in the internal affairs of other countries. We have no interest in and will not interfere in Canada’s internal affairs,” Mao said. “It is absurd that some in Canada are making an issue about China based on misinformation and lies.”

The Worldwide times, China’s most belligerent English-language government newspaper, cited “experts” who predicted that any investigation into evidence that Beijing had interfered in Canadian elections would tarnish Canada’s reputation, supposedly by making it look like a loyal pawn of the United States . The newspaper accused Trudeau of trying to “coordinate Canada’s diplomatic strategy to match that of the US by creating an unfriendly atmosphere towards China among the Canadian public”.

This will damage Canada’s national image and reduce it to the status of a ‘follower of the US’, observers warned. Time.

The main “observer” in question was a professor, Li Haidong, who was regularly quoted in the pages of the newspaper as attacking the United States. Li claimed that “Canada is trying very hard to create an unfriendly atmosphere in its society by pushing negative issues related to China to a head.” He suggested that election interference was a problem that “could easily stimulate society to form an irrational and pathological impression”, so investigating evidence of interference was irresponsible.

“Canadian politicians want their people to believe that China is a country that cannot be trusted,” Li claimed. “If Canada continues to follow US foreign policy in this way, people who think of Canada will think of an American follower. Such a move would be detrimental both to the improvement of Sino-Canadian relations and to Canada’s international image.”

The Canadian news reports, citing Canadian intelligence sources, point to Chinese government interference in the parliamentary elections of 2019 and 2021. Canadian broadcaster Global News highlighted a special case in its coverage: the election of MP Han Dong of the Liberal Party in 2019. In February, Global News claimed that Liberal Party officials had reason to believe that Han was “a knowing partner in China’s election interference networks” with close ties to Chinese government officials at the Toronto consulate.

“I am not aware of the allegations made to you by alleged sources that contain grossly false information,” Dong told Global News in response to his reporting.

Trudeau, meanwhile, backed Dong — one of 11 lawmakers Global News claimed intelligence officials had identified as potential Chinese government partners. The other ten have not been publicly named at the time of going to press.

“I want everyone to fully understand that Han Dong is an outstanding member of our team and suggestions that he is somehow disloyal to Canada should not be accepted,” Trudeau said in February.

In response to the allegations, election leader Caroline Simard has launched an investigation into known information about the election.

“I am moved by the importance of this issue…as well as the need to reassure Canadians under these exceptional circumstances,” Simard said Thursday. “We have thoroughly and thoroughly investigated every complaint and piece of information brought to our attention regarding allegations of foreign interference. This review is currently underway to see if there is tangible evidence of misconduct under Canadian election law.”

Trudeau has declined to conduct a public inquiry into the matter. On Monday, he announced the $5.5 million investment in “fighting disinformation” and the appointment of a “special rapporteur” to deal with alleged election interference. The “special rapporteur” would be selected at an undetermined date through an unclear process to ensure their independence.

“We know that disinformation that is often generated abroad can pose a real threat to our elections and it is a threat that the federal government cannot combat alone,” Trudeau said at the time.

When asked directly how much of the allegations in the leaked intelligence reports he knew at the time and what he did with that information, Trudeau seemed to avoid the question entirely.

“One of the reasons we put the Special Rapporteur on top of the job and full access to it [Canadian intelligence] … will have access and access to all top secret documents, all briefings that may have been made or could have been made or were not made,” Trudeau said. “The process around this remains something we need to ensure is looked at by parliamentarians and experts who have the appropriate security clearance.”

“People are concerned that China and other countries continue to interfere in our democratic processes,” Trudeau added.

In addition to a united call from the NDP and conservative opposition for a public inquiry, Trudeau is beginning to experience internal liberal pressure to vigorously crack down on China as a threat to the state.

“The government of China poses an existential threat to Canada on multiple levels,” Liberal MP John McKay said Wednesday. “We as a nation must come to grips with the desire of the government of China to turn us all into bastard states.”

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