Over the last few years, China has used its surrogates in Canada to further its political agenda. Through elected officials with Chinese heritage and others who sold their souls in the Chinese media, they continuously push their political views as though they are representing the majority view of Chinese Canadians.
More often than any time in the past 5 decades since my arrival in Canada, I have been accosted by senior Chinese with arguments to try and convince me to join their patriotic actions or agree to them. Senior Chinese overseas are most susceptible to propaganda that arouses patriotism. They like to bask in the glow of national pride and achievements and honoured by the sense of “belonging”. To them, a strong China improves the overall status of all “Chinese” and shields them from discrimination by other Canadians. This is a wrong perception and fallacy. I simply name this the “Senior patriotism syndrome”.
When these people sense their hopelessness in their efforts, they always come out with the question “Are you Chinese?” and demand an answer. This is for them a last ditch effort to “shame” people into joining their actions. To them, if you are Chinese then you have to agree with their views.
My answer: “I am first and foremost a Canadian, born as a British subject in a British Crown Colony (Hong Kong) with Chinese cultural heritage”. Undeterred, the next question comes “Are you not of yellow skin?”. For that I will answer “I am a banana, yellow skin with white heart (interior) ”. After these exchanges, I am often cursed as a “Chinese traitor” and left alone but frankly, I do not give a damn.
I find it very frustrating to deal with many of the people pushing the Chinese agenda. Many assumed that all Canadian Chinese have to know how to speak “Putonghua”. Do they even realized that United Nations has defined Cantonese as a language and not a dialect of China? Over 13% of people in Chinese still speak Cantonese, as well as a majority of overseas Chinese.
These persistent Chinese people seem to watch different “News Channels” than the rest of the other Canadians. I almost think they watch CCTV news Channels exclusively from China all day. They are fixated on views dictated by the Chinese Communist Party only and when a certain view is taken by the Chinese Government at that moment, they seem to immediately dance to the waving of a wand and provide unquestionable support in Canada. I am beginning to think that this is similar to the “Stockholm Syndrome”, where the hostage sympathizes with the captors long after they are saved from their harm.
I also begin to question the sincerity of those Chinese immigrants to Canada and others who have attained citizenship. If they are coming to Canada to settle down and reaping benefits of this nation – cheaper education for their children, pensions and old age assistance, health plans and clean air, why are they still attached to the government of their country of origin? Why do they have to urge Canada to condemn the Nanjing Massacre by the Japanese last year when China finds it necessary to do so? Why do they ask for the release of Meng Wanzhou against Canadian treaties with the United States recently just because China say so? For the last few weeks, they are directed to portray the Hong Kong protesters as rioters and revolutionists.
The answer may lie in the fact that many do not apply for their Canadian Citizenship since do so will forsake their Chinese Nationality which can be detrimental to their financial and property rights in China. Many do not intend to stay in Canada in the long term. They just want to take the cheap health care for themselves and education benefits for their children offered by Canada.
My parents emigrated to Canada in 1967 at the height of the Hong Kong riots by the leftest in an attempt to seize power from the British administration in Hong Kong. Coming to Canada, my parents were visionary and gave us a new beginning with a bright future. We never wanted to return to Hong Kong. Canada is our home and we are proud to be Canadians.
Of course, I am not painting all Chinese immigrants and Chinese Canadian citizens with a broad brush. I am just reflecting on the views of a majority of them and their antics that I have encountered.
Next time, when you are confronted with this pretentious question of “Are you Chinese?”, counter it with “Are you Canadian?”. A person cannot serve two masters, it is time for these people to change their ways. Stay in Canada and be a Canadian or return to China and be a real “Chinese”.
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