A new Canadian association formed by veterans of communist China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) put on a recital performance in Richmond Hill, Ontario lauding the Chinese government’s authoritarian and brutal past.
The Thanksgiving Day show I am a Soldier glorified China’s revolutionary and imperial past in propagandistic fashion by singing military songs in praise of the communist party. The group is listed as one of the parties performing in the “Red Maple Chorus Festival” which was hosted by the Canadian Red Maple Sunset Multicultural Association.
The group organizing the event is called the Canada Chinese Veteran’s Society and is a federally registered not-for-profit corporation. According to records, it was incorporated on August 6, 2018.
A review in the Chinese language publication Easy Ca claims that the show “achieved great success”.
“The shocking performance of the Chinese military soul made the Chinese military whirlwind on the land of this foreign country,” wrote the review which has been translated into English.
Photos from the event show performers in Chinese military uniforms performing on stage alongside a piano to a red backdrop.
The performers are alleged to be former fighters for China’s PLA who have immigrated to Canada. The PLA has been responsible for carrying out the Chinese regime’s oppressive and authoritarian tactics including the 1989 crackdown on the Tiananmen Square student protests where they were ordered to “spare no-one”. Estimates place the death toll to be anywhere from the hundreds to 10,000 civilian casualties by way of machine gun fire and mass killings.
According to another article in Easy Ca, the organization planned a retreat in Barrie where they practiced marching, sang patriotic songs, and saluted the People’s Republic of China flag.
The group marks a worrying trend of Chinese nationalism brewing on Canadian soil. Due to the recent Hong Kong protests, pro-China demonstrators have clashed with those supporting Hong Kong’s democracy in a number of Canadian cities.
In August, pro-China demonstrators appeared to counter a Hong Kong demonstration in Toronto and got into shoving matches with participants. In another instance, several supercars pulled into downtown Toronto adorned with Chinese flags in a show of extravagance.
In Richmond, B.C., students and pro-Hong Kong advocates were attacked and threatened by those on the side of the Chinese government, who tore down messages in support of the demonstrations and threw coins at democracy supporters.
While tensions escalate domestically, the Canadian government is shifting gears on the world stage to a more friendly attitude towards the country, as it is embroiled in a diplomatic dispute over the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou and the detention of Canadian citizens Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. Most recently, the Canadian military participated in a friendly sporting competition in Beijing.