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Conservatives demand ‘firm plan’ over alleged Chinese interference in Canada – National

Following a Global News report that Canadian intelligence officials warned of covert operations by Beijing during the 2019 election campaign, the Conservative Party has urged the government to counter allegations of Chinese foreign interference in Canada. to come up with a “solid plan” for

Global News reported on Monday that Canada’s intelligence services told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that China would be running in the 2019 election on a massive scale of foreign interference, including funding a secret network of at least 11 federal candidates. reportedly warned that it was allegedly targeting Canada in a campaign that

“The Conservative Party is deeply troubled by recent media reports that Canada has been targeted by Beijing for widespread foreign interference in the 2019 elections,” said Michael Chung, a Conservative foreign affairs analyst. wrote in a statement Tuesday.

“It’s been a long time since the Trudeau administration laid out a solid plan to counter Beijing’s foreign intervention operations here in Canada.”

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The allegations reported by Global News, which were delivered to the prime minister and several ministers in a series of briefings and memos first presented in January, included the allegations that Beijing would further increase its influence and overthrow Canada’s democratic process. Other detailed examples of efforts to try were included. Said.

Based on recent information from the Canadian Security Intelligence Agency (CSIS), these efforts include intermediary payments to candidates affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and the MP’s office to influence policy. to jointly select and corrupt former Canadian officials to gain influence in Ottawa and to punish Canadian politicians whom the People’s Republic of China (PRC) sees as a threat to its interests. We are launching an aggressive campaign.

CSIS told Global News that it cannot answer some questions about the story. However, the service confirmed that it has identified China’s foreign interference in Canada, which could include covert funding to influence election results.

“The CCP uses every element of state power to conduct activities that directly threaten national security and sovereignty,” CSIS said.

No candidates for 2019 were identified at the briefing. But sources with knowledge of Brief said the alleged election interference network included members of both the Liberal and Conservative parties.

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Canada ‘creates new tools’ to protect institutions from China, others trying to influence elections

Global News was unable to confirm from its sources which ministers may have been involved in the briefing, nor the specific timing at which the alleged information was shared.

The main allegation is that CSIS directed China’s Toronto consulate to send large-scale covert money transfers to a network of at least 11 federal election candidates and a number of Beijing operatives who worked as campaign staff. reported that it did.

The funds were said to have been transferred through Ontario’s MPP and federal election candidate staff. Another source with knowledge of the situation said his CCP proxy group, acting as an intermediary, transferred about $250,000.

According to a 2022 report, some, but not all, of the network’s alleged members knew people affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party. It didn’t come to a conclusion as to whether it believed it had made a successful impact, the sources say.

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CSIS can obtain findings through warrants that enable it to electronically intercept communications between Chinese consular officials and Canadian politicians and officials.

“It is clear that Beijing spread disinformation in its 2021 federal election campaign through proxies that have adversely affected the Conservative Party’s campaign in several elections,” Chong said in a statement.

“The indictment released in U.S. courts also alleges that Beijing operatives are operating here in Canada, intimidating families in China and coercing people to return to the People’s Republic of China. it is clear.”

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Canada faces an “aggressive game” from China, and among other interference reports, Trudeau said:

Chong added that the unsealed indictment suggests that Chinese agents in the United States “pressured American citizens to travel to Toronto for more intensive interrogation.” It suggests that “China sees Canada as a safe haven for more intensive operations.”

“Recently, there have been reports of the presence of three illegal Chinese police stations operating in Toronto and the surrounding area,” Chong added.

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“We now know that CSIS has concluded that Beijing has defiled the Political Finance Law and interfered in the 2019 elections. No one has been deported and no one has been criminally charged.”

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The Chinese community is the biggest victim of these tactics, Chong said.

“The Trudeau administration must do more to protect the Chinese community from the threat of the People’s Republic of China and to protect Canadian democracy,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Trudeau warned of Chinese interference: sources'

Trudeau warned of Chinese interference: sources

Trudeau told reporters on Monday that the government had taken “significant steps to strengthen the integrity of the electoral process and system.”

“We will continue to invest in fighting election interference and foreign interference in our democracy and institutions,” Trudeau said.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing countries and state actors around the world, whether China or not, continue to play aggressive games against our institutions and our democracies.”

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said on Tuesday that Canada should stop making statements it said would damage its relationship with China, according to Reuters.

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“Relations between nations can only be built on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and China-Canada relations are no exception,” spokesman Zhao Lijian said.

“China has no interest in Canada’s internal affairs,” Zhao added.

— Using files from Sam Cooper and Aaron D’Andrea of ​​Global News and Reuters

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Conservatives demand ‘firm plan’ over alleged Chinese interference in Canada – National

Source link Conservatives demand ‘firm plan’ over alleged Chinese interference in Canada – National

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