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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

China isn't a friend of Canadian democracy

John Turley-Ewart is the Deputy Comment Editor of the National Post and doesn't look at Communist China through rose-tinted glasses like some people I know. Keep up the good work John!

National Post Full Comment by J. Turley-Ewart: The extent of China's spy network in Canada has attracted some attention recently following the director of CSIS, Canada's spy agency, admitting that China is "pretty much" at the top of the list of countries with foreign spies operating here.

Indeed, Jim Judd, CSIS's chief suggested that about 50% of CSIS's time is spent tracking China's operatives in our country. Much of that spying may well be aimed at stealing industrial secrets that, if successfully executed, undermines economic growth in Canada and costs our country both jobs and huge amounts of money. Such espionage deserves serious attention and is not what one expects from a friendly government.

Yet the threat from Chinese operatives in Canada goes beyond theft and has involved the spread of hate as well. Specifically, the Chinese are engaged in a pogrom-like action against Falun Gong practitioners in China and have promoted fear and hatred of Falun Gong here in Canada among the Chinese community.

The result can be seen when law-abiding Canadians who stroll into Chinese malls in Canada wearing Falun Gong T-Shirts are told to leave because of the shirts.

Freedom of speech is a right in Canada, but China's officials would prefer it was otherwise. Indeed they encourage Chinese-Canadians to shun and silence fellow Canadians who practice Falun Gong.

I wrote about this a few years ago.

Beijing's mandarins declared Falun Gong a "cult" in the 1990s and outlawed it in 1999. Since then China's government has been arresting and imprisoning Falun Gong practitioners and are accused of violating their human rights.

I recall some years ago the Chinese ambassador to Canada coming to the Post and distributing his government's anti-Falun Gong material to our editorial board with a gusto that was alarming.

Readers should keep in mind the Chinese spies are not just trying to undermine economic growth in Canada by stealing our industrial secrets, they are also engaged in a propaganda war against Canadians who practice Falun Gong, a war aimed at generating hate for those practitioners and ultimately diminishing their rights as Canadian citizens.

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