Chong: “The government ignores Chinese threats”

TORONTO – The Canadian federal government ignores Chinese threats and “stalls” so as not to compromise its – economic – interests with China. This, in summary, is the thought of Conservative MP Michael Chong, who denounced a Chinese campaign against him and his family in Hong Kong, urging the Canadian government to “take decisive action”, starting with the expulsion of the Chinese diplomat in Toronto who was allegedly involved in the plot. 

“I think the fact that they haven’t (acted), encourages (China) to conduct even more of these activities on Canadians” Chon told Global News. “So I think they need to send a clear message and expel this diplomat”.

The Globe and Mail reported last Monday that Beijing’s intelligence services would have tried to target Chong and his relatives in Hong Kong, citing a top secret document and an anonymous national security source: a diplomat would be involved in the plot Chinese in Canada. Chong said the Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s (CSIS) top-secret intelligence assessment cited by the Globe and Mail outlined the alleged threats against him and his family, which began following Chong’s loss of position in the February 2021, against China’s treatment of the Uyghur minority.

“An official from the Ministry of State Security in the People’s Republic of China, based in Toronto, started collecting information to target my family in order to pressure me to change my position on democracy and human rights” Chong said. Chong was surprised not that China is targeting his family in Hong Kong, but that the Canadian government is doing nothing to protect not only him and his family, but other targeted Canadians as well by Beijing. “It really, really shook me that we’re exposed to these threats,” he added, noting that Justin Trudeau “couldn’t not have known”. The prime minister insisted that he only learned about the campaign against Chong from the media and that he was never briefed on CSIS’s (Canadian intelligence) assessment in 2021 or subsequent years, but Chong says the document reached the Trudeau’s national security adviser. “He was prime minister for almost eight years” Chong said. “I think it might be excusable after eight months of starting a new government, but there is no excuse for these eight years”.

And Chong himself also says he is “stunned” by the fact that, during a meeting of the House of Commons last Thursday, the Foreign Minister, Melanie Joly, listed the potential consequences that the federal government is considering in expelling the Chinese diplomat that would target him. In fact, Joly spoke of “economic interests, consular interests and also diplomatic interests” that would be affected by such a move.

“It is worrying for a foreign minister of a G7 country to admit that an authoritarian state has strong economic influence over their country” Chong said. And he also says Canada has had other opportunities to expel Chinese diplomats, in response to so-called “secret police stations” set up in major cities to intimidate Chinese Canadians. “It is clear that the government does not take these threats seriously,” concludes Chong.