(Ottawa) The intimidation campaign implemented by the Xi Jinping regime against the conservative Michael Chong and his family has just earned a summons to the Beijing ambassador to Ottawa. The case is far from over, however, as the MP in question has been informed that the CSIS report has indeed circulated in the highest ranks of the government, contrary to what Justin Trudeau said the day before.
Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly asked her Deputy Minister David Morrison to invite Ambassador Cong Peiwu “in light of the facts revealed by CSIS [Canadian Security Intelligence Service]”, to inform him ” directly that Canada would not tolerate any form of interference”.
The summons comes after an article appeared last Monday in The Globe and Mail in which it is reported that Michael Chong and members of his family have been the target of threats, a scheme which was set up by a Chinese diplomat from the Toronto consulate, Zhao Wei.
The head of Canadian diplomacy signaled that “all options were on the table” surrounding the fate of this diplomat, affirming that the government was examining what could be the “consequences” to sanction “this behavior”.
The Tory MP at the heart of this story was unimpressed.
Because according to him, Ottawa should have shown him the door right away.
“This diplomat should have been expelled by now. In my opinion, the government has no choice but to declare him persona non grata. […] If he does not, he sends the message to the world that Canada is open to this kind of interference, and that there are no consequences, ”he insisted in an interview on Wednesday.
There is a bone, according to Minister Joly: Ottawa fears retaliation from Beijing. “I think it’s important for Canadians to know, what we’ve learned from the experience of the two Michaels is that … the People’s Republic of China will take action,” she told the committee table.
A few hours later, during question period in the House of Commons, MP Michael Chong went there with a new revelation that plunges the Trudeau government even further into embarrassment.
“I have just been advised by National Security Advisor [Jody Thomas] that the July 2021 CSIS report has been forwarded by CSIS to relevant departments, the National Security Advisor, and the Privy Council Office,” did he declare.
“This report contained information that I and other deputies were targeted by the People’s Republic of China. This contradicts what the Premier said yesterday [Wednesday],” the Ontario MP said.
On Wednesday morning, Justin Trudeau argued that CSIS had failed to inform the government of the campaign of intimidation to which the MP and his family members had been subjected. He also assured that he learned of the case on Monday, in the media.
“We asked what happened with that information, if it got out of CSIS. She was not. CSIS determined this was not something worth reporting to higher levels, because it was not a serious enough concern,” he said.
Thursday’s Question Period was particularly heated, with the Conservatives ramping up insults to their opponents. Exasperated, the president, Anthony Rota, prohibited from speaking two deputies who, according to him, exceeded the limits, and this, until they withdrew their remarks and apologized.
The Chinese Embassy in Canada, moreover, denies any form of attempted interference.
“Politicians and the media,” according to the Beijing mission’s assertion on its website, “falsely claimed that Chinese consular officials in Canada made so-called threats” against a Canadian MP and his relatives .
“This is pure political manipulation,” one railed in a statement posted on the website.
Disruptive Chinese actions on Canadian soil are documented in the 2022 annual report that CSIS tabled Thursday morning in the House of Commons. There are reports of intimidation, and the installation of Chinese “police stations” in Canada, among other things.
“In 2022, it was reported that sub-national divisions of the Ministry of Public Security (MSP) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) had set up three ‘police stations’ in Canada, without having been authorized by the Canadian government. “, we read in the report.
“Representatives from various Chinese investigative agencies” have also been seen coming to Canada, “often without informing local law enforcement”, to threaten or intimidate in an attempt to “attempt to coerce citizens and permanent residents from Canada of Chinese descent supposedly on the run to return to the PRC,” one wrote.
National security specialists believe that to counter this phenomenon, the government must establish a register of foreign agents. The Minister of Public Security, Marco Mendicino, has launched consultations on this subject.