Beijing’s Reach: How Chinese Regime Is Impacting the Lives of Canadians
The COVID-19 pandemic may be the most visible way in which China has impacted life in Canada,
with the pandemic costing Canadian lives, shutting down businesses, and
forcing people to stay home. But the Chinese regime has been
influencing Canada's way of life and decision-making for decades,
including how Canada initially responded to the outbreak . . .
The following sections explore some of the ways Beijing has impacted life in Canada and the various means the regime uses to influence public policy and decision-making.
At Stake This Time: Canadian Lives
When China detained Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor after
Canada's arrest of Huawei chief executive Meng Wanzhou on a U.S.
extradition request, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Canada lacks
leverage in asking for the two men's release because of years of
"appeasement" to China by the government of Prime Minister Justin
Trudeau . . .
Influencing Industry and Gaining Leverage. . . Today, China incites major corporations and business associations to lobby Ottawa to follow Beijing's wish and threatens to block imports if Canada falls out of line. The latest example is China's disruption of exports of canola and other products after Canada's refusal to free Huawei's Meng Wanzhou . . .
Subverting Institutions and Politicians, and Gaining Influence
Buying Key Assets to Gain Control
China has been buying key assets in Western countries for a number of
years. Politicians in New Zealand started warning of their citizens
becoming "tenants in their own land" after Chinese state-owned companies
started buying up farmland as well as assets in other sectors . . .
Co-opting Academia and Controlling Thought Leaders
A critical component of China's efforts to influence foreign policy
in various countries is having academics publish headline-grabbing
papers and experts give talking points in media interviews that are
aligned with what Beijing wants . . .
Exporting Opioids, Fueling Addiction and Overdose Deaths
Besides the pandemic, China is behind another crisis that is directly killing Canadians in large numbers: the opioid crisis. According to police, China is the main source of
illicit fentanyl into Canada. There were close to 14,000 opioid-related
deaths in Canada between January 2016 and June 2019, with fentanyl
accounting for the majority of them . . .
Conducting Espionage to Gain Strategic and Economic Advantage. . . In consecutive years, the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians, the parliamentary watchdog overseeing national security, has named China as a major threat in espionage and influence activities in Canada.
"China is known globally for its efforts to influence Chinese
communities and the politics of other countries," one of the committee's
reports says . . .
Imprisoning Canadians and Pressuring Government
When the Chinese regime's influence efforts are ineffective in
co-opting an institution or individual, it often uses more physical
forms of intimidation. In China, that means mass incarceration,
institutionalized torture, and state-sanctioned extra-judicial killings. For Canadians in China, it can mean arbitrary imprisonment. Kovrig
and Spavor remain behind bars while the pandemic rages on in China . . . There are many other family members of Canadians, as well as
countless numbers of dissidents and minority groups, who continue to be
persecuted by the Chinese regime . . .
Using Increased Strength to Change World Order
As the Chinese regime gains control, it shifts from soft tactics like
ingratiating foreign dignitaries to win trust and acceptance, to
heavy-handed tactics that have shifted the dynamics of global power.
This has become a challenge to alliances that Canada is a part of . . .