China’s manipulation activities go far beyond rewarding Canadian influencers. Politicians, the RCMP and CSIS all acknowledge that for years Chinese agents have harassed and coerced people of Chinese origin within Canada, including Canadian Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kongers, PRC students and dissidents. But none of the large cohort of Chinese agents in Canada has been made accountable by being charged in court, or, if they are Chinese diplomats, by being declared persona non grata and sent packing.
There is also alarming evidence that Canadian dual-use military technologies and other classified data are being illegally transferred to China’s party-state-military-security-industrial complex, by Canadian and Chinese researchers and spies. Not a single person has been arrested and charged in Canada, in part because co-opted pro-China voices in Ottawa counsel that we not offend the PRC by arresting any of their spies.
This latest statement by MP Oliphant, that the government is “actively considering” creating a registry of foreign agents, follows a familiar pattern. To appease or distract public opinion, the Trudeau government dangles a series of hollow promises, then just kicks the can down the road.
Canadians should demand that their government stop with the lip service and follow through with this now. As the old Lerner and Loewe show tune puts it “Sing me no song, read me no rhyme, please don’t explain. Show me!”
Charles Burton is a senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute in Ottawa, and non-resident senior fellow of the European Values Center for Security Policy in Prague. He is a former professor of political science at Brock University, and served as a diplomat at Canada’s embassy in Beijing.
This content was originally published here.