China’s Influence in Canada

May 28, 2019 Updated: May 29, 2019

The recent annual report by the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians clearly outlines the severe threat to Canada’s cyberspace security by the People’s Republic of China, as well as its use of businesspeople and overseas Chinese students to influence Canadian politics.

The report further states that many Chinese government organizations attempt to exert influence on members of the Chinese community and politicians in Canada, so that they take a friendly stance toward China; this is most apparent in China’s United Front Work Department. The report points out China’s use of monetary donations for political campaigns in an attempt to influence Chinese media viewpoints, as well as secretly supporting various community organizations and public protests.

The report deserves praise for detailing the true facts.

The report alludes to comments made in 2010 by Richard Fadden, former head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, who expressed concerns about the influence China has over Canadian politicians.

According to media reports from that year, Fadden made a speech in March at the Royal Canadian Military Institute in which he pointed out the attempts of a certain foreign power to recruit people from ethnic communities, asking them to continue to “serve the motherland” and in the process derive benefits from it. China has been especially active within university communities, even to the extent of organizing protests against certain Canadian policies toward China.

In an interview with CBC Television in June 2010, Fadden said that Canada has ministers from at least two provinces as well as certain municipal officials in British Columbia who are under the influence of foreign powers and working on their behalf.

In a memorandum to then-Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews, Fadden detailed two suspicious incidents involving provincial ministers. He pointed out that these secret actions were attempts to influence Canadian politicians and policies, while also looking to identify dissidents and steal scientific technology. The targets for such foreign influence include: elected officials, public officials, civil servants from all three levels of government, and members of ethnic communities.

Fadden’s comments drew a lot of flak and led to various members of the opposition attacking the Harper government. There were also angry outbursts from Chinese Canadian politicians and members of the Chinese community, demanding an apology as well as Fadden’s resignation.

I was a member of Hong Kong’s Underground Communist Party and I have a detailed knowledge of the nature of the Chinese Communist Party, its unique character, and its modus operandi. I believe and agree with Fadden’s assertions, knowing full well that this is a result of China’s United Front policies.

As a Canadian citizen, I deeply appreciate Fadden’s and Toews’ efforts in protecting national security despite pressure from many sides, their work in uncovering the infiltration of foreign powers in our country, and their courage in speaking the truth. I sent two letters to Fadden and Toews with an accompanying essay titled “Understanding China’s United Front.” On Jan. 21, 2011, I received a response from Toews expressing his thanks.

It has been nine years since the above incident, and I feel gratified by the National Security and Intelligence Committee’s report confirming Fadden’s prescient statements. I hope that our government will take further action in protecting our national interest and security, and in preventing China’s infiltration of Canadian politics and society.

Florence Mo Han Aw


Author of “My Time in Hong Kong’s Underground Communist Party”

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.