The Canadian government reported earlier this week that Chinese foreign agents may be present in Canada and actively harassing or intimidating Canadians.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, cabinet submitted a letter to the House of Commons foreign affairs subcommittee stating that Ottawa was “aware” of such incidents.
“The Government of Canada is aware that foreign states, including the People’s Republic of China or its proxies, may attempt to harass, threaten and intimidate Canadians, persons residing in Canada or their families, in Canada or abroad, particularly Chinese diaspora or ethno-cultural communities,” the letter claimed.
The letter was written in response to a recommendation by the subcommittee to “systematically track” harassment of Canadians by Chinese authorities.
“The Subcommittee recommends that Public Safety Canada systematically track cases of harassment, by Chinese authorities, of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims living in Canada, as well as individuals and groups advocating on their behalf,” the recommendation read.
“The Subcommittee also urges the Government of Canada to respond punitively to attempts to repress freedom of expression in Canada and urges it to continue raising the issue with the Government of the People’s Republic of China officials.”
According to a 2020 report by the Canadian Coalition on Human Rights in China titled “Harassment & Intimidation of Individuals in Canada,” the Canadian government has had an “inadequate” response to the threat posed by Chinese foreign interference.
“Chinese state actors have almost certainly become emboldened by the inadequate responses of Canadian officials,” the coalition writes.
“The Canadian government must treat this issue with increased urgency, as it has resulted in insecurity and fear for human rights defenders in Canada working on Chinese human rights issues.”
The report goes on to outline how the presence of Chinese actors threatens academic freedom in universities and the free speech of individuals who hope to speak out against the Chinese Communist Party’s human rights abuses.