Imagine that a community of nearly two million Canadians was being targeted by a foreign government — that these Canadians were being gaslighted, harassed, threatened and silenced. Shouldn’t the Canadian government help this community and protect it from intimidation? Shouldn’t it do more than simply court it for votes at election time?
The answer is yes.
Welcome to the reality of the Chinese diaspora in Canada.
For decades, Chinese Canadians have been subject to the practice of what is known as “transnational repression” by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The CCP’s means are legion: business contracts granted or cancelled based on a willingness to toe Beijing’s line, “police stations” set up in Canada to forcibly repatriate expats who pose a “threat” to China’s interests, voters being told which ballot to mark or their family back in China would suffer.
But don’t take my word for it. Take that of Cherie Wong, executive director of Alliance Canada Hong Kong. This brave woman spoke to CBC’s Power and Politics last Friday. (If you haven’t watched this interview, you must). Wong is blunt: “There is a climate of fear that exists in the Chinese-Canadian diaspora community,” she said. “They have chosen to be silent because they don’t even want to put themselves at the risk of angering the regime.”