Pro-democracy Chinese Canadians have been living in fears of the Chinese regime, and their concerns and worries will only get intensified under the re-elected Liberal government.
With a growing economic and military might, China increasingly projects its influence in Canada – through its magic weapon, the overseas diaspora. Meanwhile, it has sought to silence different voices among ethnic Chinese -- from Uyghur nationalists to democrats. The regime's mass detention in Xinjiang China has put Uyghur students' life in Canada in limbo. They worry about the fate of their families back home and are concerned about their future. Many who flee the autocratic regime to pursue freedom in Canada also live in fear, with their critical voices to be silenced and rights for free protests restrained.
However, the Liberal government has offered limited or no support to these Chinese Canadians. Canada has increasingly seen the dark and bullying side of China, as it has frequently flexed its muscles at the middle powered country. China has arbitrarily detained two Canadians after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, heeding US requests. They face espionage charges and are subject to forms of torture. China has also banned Canadian imports of meat products and severely curbed purchases of Canadian canola seed and soybeans, leaving Canadian farmers struggling in a contracted agricultural sector. However, the Liberal government's reaction is appalling. It is bending to China's pressure and trying to appease to the bullying regime.
The Liberal government had forged strong economic and trade ties with China since it took power in 2015. For a quarter of a century, the Liberals' foreign policies have focused on pursuing an even-deeper economic integration with the authoritarian state. China's brutal attack on Canada seems hardly changed the Liberal government's positions. It has turned a blind eye from the bitter reality and continued to seek a truce deal with Beijing.
Recently, the military department of the Liberal government sent a big delegation to the World Military Games -- a sporting competition in China, including 114 athletes, 57 coaches, and support staff. The game took place at a time when China's big military parade demonstrated to the world of its rapidly developing arsenal.
Beijing's boosted ego in the wake of the Canada’s participation in the game is evident. It excitedly announced that the Canadian delegation shows that Beijing is not losing friends. Its propaganda machine goes into high gear, touting a successful foreign diplomatic policy. "The list of our friends is growing… In the future, we will have more and more friends in various fields."
Ottawa's move has fueled Beijing's grotesque act of bullying and intimidation. It has, in turn, caused harm to two detained Canadians and their families and put the vulnerable pro-democratic voice in Canada in a more precarious state. It will empower the bully, allowing it to double down its efforts to crack down on any dissident forces from the overseas diaspora down the road. The backlash from pundits and oppositions ensued, accusing the Liberals' decision of being unacceptable and calling for a boycott of the next Olympic game in Beijing.
Chinese News had emailed the Liberal Party of Canada before the election, seeking its response on what measures it will take to protect the group of pro-democratic Chinese Canadians but has never received a response. Independent voices in Canada should brace for a more chilling reality of China's influence under the re-elected Liberal government.
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