Chinese Canadians worried about political backlash amid foreign interference scrutiny – National

Mark Lee, a professional translator and former city councilor in Richmond, British Columbia, walks the fine line faced by fellow Chinese Canadians entering politics amid allegations of foreign interference. Say you know what it’s like.

He says he’s not ignorant of the risks, and believes potential political intervention is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.

“I’ve seen things that probably look suspicious, or feel like they don’t agree to come out of the (Chinese) consulate, for example,” for the Richmond Citizens Association.

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But he also pointed out that Chinese Canadians are being tarred by association, and of the misunderstanding of “cultural dynamics” in a discussion of years of political interference within the Chinese community. I’m also worried about the possibility of…

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“There were people in Richmond who basically assumed they were spies or infiltrated by the Chinese government or something like that if they had anything to do with certain groups,” says the most ethnically Chinese said Lee, who lives in the city of in Canada.

Lee’s concerns span across the political spectrum, with varying emphasis and at the same time worrying about interference by Chinese authorities, lack of nuance, racism, and the use of arguments to push a wedge in the Chinese community. Reflected by a Chinese-Canadian person.

The Globe and Mail reported last month that China is not friendly to Beijing, including Kenny Chiu, who lost his seat in Steveston-Richmond East, as China assuredly won the Liberal minority in the 2021 federal elections. It reportedly tried to defeat a Conservative politician believed to be

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Trudeau appoints special rapporteur to investigate allegations of election interference

Chiu is seriously concerned that the possibility of foreign interference may have played a role in his election loss, but he believes that the oversimplification and the fact that Canadians with Chinese ties I am also concerned about the monolithic view that it is likely to be affected.

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Doing so would endanger Canada’s multicultural society while also putting it in the hands of foreign governments seeking to shape the outcome of Canada’s elections.

Chiu said it was important to combat racism regardless of the victim’s ethnicity or cultural background, and to reduce the potential for racism to be used to antagonize Canadians.

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“They know this is a wedge that can be driven into Canadian society,” Chiu said of potential Chinese interference and accusations of racism.

He added that the debate lacked nuance and was “alarmed” by some of the comments he heard from people generalizing about their ethnic origins. And justice, it’s not always true.

Conservative Party leader Pierre Polivre and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh have called for a full public inquiry into foreign interference in Canadian elections, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has resisted.

Poilievre said on March 1 that members of the Chinese-Canadian community were “wonderful” people, victims of foreign interference, and that the investigation should include ways to protect people from Beijing.

“Chinese Canadians are patriotic. They are loyal to our country. Absolutely unacceptable,” he said.

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Kenneth Tung, former chairman of Vancouver-based immigration services group SUCCESS, hosts a news talk show on Chinese-language radio AM1470.

Mr Tung said it would be wrong to attribute all scrutiny of Chinese-Canadian politicians to racism.

Canadians with ethnic, cultural, linguistic or other ties to China should not encounter problems if their behavior reflects Canadian values ​​as a priority, he said. rice field.

“I think it’s important to be clear. As Canadian Hong Kongers or Canadian Chinese, we don’t have to defend the issue. Especially if we’re defending the Beijing regime, it confuses (observers). You don’t have to defend the issue that causes it.

He added, “If it’s an issue related to the Beijing regime, if it’s not Canadian values, we have to blame it.”

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In 2016, then-Vancouver City Councilor Kelly Jiang said dignitaries, including then-Chinese Consulate General Liu Fei, were red when the Chinese flag was hoisted at city hall to mark China’s National Day. He faced criticism for wearing a neckerchief.

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Critics said the knotted scarf was a symbol of communism, but event organizer Ma Zaixin said the donor “misunderstood” what kind of scarf was needed. .

A third-generation Chinese-Canadian, Chan said, “I vividly remember receiving hate emails and death threats. never,” he said.

As a former politician, Chan said he met diplomats from many countries, including China. He said that didn’t automatically make him a spy from China.

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He said innuendo is no substitute for evidence. “If there is evidence that he should be prosecuted, he should be jailed for election interference,” Mr. Chan said. “Or if they’re diplomats of some country, send them home. Get them out.”

Lee said the debate hasn’t deterred him from the political arena and that he plans to run again in the next local elections.

He considers the political participation of Chinese Canadians important in the context of the foreign interference debate, because their interactions with Chinese authorities give them a fairly realistic understanding of how they operate. This is because the.

Lee believes that Chinese Canadians have a role beyond being seen as victims or perpetrators of foreign interference. Instead, he wants them to play a larger role in interpreting danger.

Chinese Canadians like him “maybe have a little more cultural knowledge or a little more understanding of what[this]type of interference looks like,” he said. increase.

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