Chong Appeals for US-Canada Unity Against China’s Foreign Interference

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A call for increased collaboration and coordination between the United States and Canada was made by Conservative MP Michael Chong, in an effort to counter foreign interference initiated by China. This plea was aired at the United States Congress on Tuesday.

Appropriately, Chong was chosen to testify before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China to contribute towards their study focused on “countering China’s global transnational repression campaign.” This testimonial was accentuated by his firsthand insight, stemming from his personal experience as a target of foreign incursions by Beijing.

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Chong clearly underlined the gravity of unchecked foreign interference and its alarming consequences on the economy, long-term prosperity, social fabric, national legislature and crucial democratic processes like elections. He urged for the adoption of a comprehensive suite of countermeasures, prominently highlighting the need for tighter cooperation amidst allied democracies.

He particularly emphasized that Canada should strive towards fortifying their defense and security partnership with the United States and their shared allies. He underlined the urgency to seize every possible opportunity to reinforce this partnership, as a strategic measure to confront the emerging threat of authoritarianism, while upholding core democratic values, the rule of law and basic human rights.

These calls for action are amid recurring reports of the Chinese government allegedly intimidating MP Chong and his family, ostensibly in response to his disdain for China’s abusive treatment of Uyghur Muslims.

In a strong endorsement of Chong, the commission chair U.S. Representative Christopher Smith criticized Beijing’s tactics, labeling them as “unacceptable and outrageous overreach”. He expressed his and his colleague’s shock upon discovering these concerning reports.

Alongside Chong’s testimony, a panel of subject matter experts were also convened to discuss the alleged methods of interference employed by Beijing in foreign territories. These discourses were notably focused on transnational repression and its impacts on diaspora and dissident communities across the United States, Canada and the rest of the world.

Through his testimonial, Chong brought to attention the unreported and unnoticed incidences of Beijing’s interference in Canada, highlighting that countless silent victims were suffering in anonymity. He also reiterated his proposal for the Canadian government to follow the lead of Australia and United States in instituting a foreign agent registry – a suggestion that the current Liberal government has reportedly consented to consider.

Chong imparted his belief that mutual information exchange regarding ongoing legislative best models could significantly enhance cooperation between the two countries, due to their largely similar judicial systems.

This followed the statement from the Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions, and Intergovernmental Affairs, Dominic LeBlanc, that his government intended to act promptly in crafting legislation for a foreign agent registry as a pivotal strategy to combat foreign interference.

Chong also shared with the commission his recent experience of being targeted by a disinformation campaign. This took place after a Canada-based monitoring system identified an attack presumably initiated by China against him this past May. Subsequently, the Liberal government initiated a public inquiry into foreign interference in Canadian democratic processes, prompted largely due to the revelations concerning Chong’s experiences.

This episode has heightened concerns about increasing allegations of foreign interference made by various Canadian MPs and former federal election candidates. This summer, an ex-RCMP officer was indicted with charges related to foreign interference, accused of aiding the Chinese government’s objective to “identify and intimidate an individual outside the scope of Canadian law.”

“I think it’s important to note that my case is one of many cases across Canada of many Canadians who suffer in silence,” Chong reiterated, underlining that his closely-watched case was merely the tip of the iceberg in the overarching issue of foreign interference in Canada.