Canadian Intelligence Flags 2 Canada-Based Media as Being Close to the CCP

Canadian Intelligence Flags 2 Canada-Based Media as Being Close to the CCP
Commissioner Justice Marie-Josee Hogue makes her way on stage to deliver remarks on the interim report following its release at the Public Inquiry Into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions, in Ottawa on May 3, 2024. (The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld)
Andrew Chen

Two Ontario-based Chinese media outlets that had published information aimed at former Conservative MP Kenny Chiu weeks before the 2021 federal election have been identified in the foreign interference inquiry report as having “close links” to the Beijing regime.

“Canadian intelligence holdings identify both 105.9 Yes My Radio and CGCTV as having close links to the PRC [People’s Republic of China] government or PRC state-media,” stated the interim report published by the foreign interference commission on May 3.
The report highlighted how certain Chinese-language media outlets and social media posts represented Mr. Chiu’s proposed legislation for a foreign influence registry as being “racist and anti-China.” Mr. Chiu’s bill, C-282, aimed to enhance transparency regarding lobbying for foreign states and entities without singling out any specific country, with Mr. Chiu saying the legislation would help protect the diaspora from hostile foreign forces. He lost his seat in the B.C. riding of Steveston–Richmond East in the 2021 election.

According to the interim report, Yes My Radio, a Chinese-language radio station located in Markham, Ont., released an anonymous blog article on Sept. 6, 2021. The article urged readers to “pay attention to Kenny Chiu’s ‘Foreign Interference Registry,’” suggesting that any individuals or groups with connections to China may be considered a Chinese spokesperson and would need to register.

On Sept. 8, 2021, Global Chinese Convergence Media (CGCTV), another media outlet based in Markham, shared a modified version of the blog post from Yes My Radio, suggesting that Mr. Chiu’s “anti-China” position stemmed from his Hong Kong background, the interim report stated.

Disinformation Campaign

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been cited by intelligence and security agencies as sparing no effort to influence global media in order to shape the narrative about the regime and suppress dissent. A U.S. State Department report said the CCP promotes its ideological narratives through state-owned or -operated media outlets, as well as CCP-controlled “educational” and “cultural” institutes such as the notorious Confucius Institute strategically situated in the United States and abroad.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) also warned about the CCP’s influence over social media platforms like WeChat. The agency noted that Beijing seeks to “position itself as the ‘voice’ of all Chinese people around the world, regardless of citizenship, or the disparate views of the members of the broader diaspora communities themselves.” This observation was included in the CSIS “Country Summary“ submitted to the Foreign Interference Commission.
“The PRC uses its control and influence over Chinese language media (e.g., newspapers, radio stations) and social media applications (e.g., WeChat) as a means of asserting influence over the Chinese diaspora. The PRC promotes pro-PRC narratives, spreads disinformation, and guides public discourse on PRC-related issues, while minimizing or suppressing and at times censoring content it deems ‘anti-China,’” the CSIS report said.

Control Through Chinese Consulate

Victor Ho, China analyst and former chief editor of Sing Tao Daily, told The Epoch Times in a previous interview that the CCP often exploits three types of media outlets to exert its influence abroad. These include overseas extensions of Chinese state media, outlets originating in Hong Kong but influenced by Beijing, and overseas media established by Chinese groups aligned with Beijing. In 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice ordered the U.S. subsidiary of Sing Tao to be registered as a foreign agent.

“When the CCP invites [media representatives] to ‘exchange views’ or ‘have discussions’ within its consulate, since the location is considered China’s and CCP territory, this indicates intention to influence these outlets, using them to disseminate information that the CCP desires. Consequently, this contributes to the CCP’s infiltration and intervention in Canadian media,” Mr. Ho said.

Both Yes My Radio and CGCTV were involved in numerous activities alongside the Chinese consulate in Toronto.

On Nov. 22, 2020, Yes My Radio and the Chinese consulate in Toronto co-hosted a youth speech competition centred around the theme of the COVID-19 pandemic. Former Consul General Han Tao commended those who opposed “anti-Asian racism” amid criticism of the Chinese regime’s handling of the pandemic. He also presented on the CCP’s global ideological agenda during the event.
Prior to his departure from his position, Consul General Han held a meeting at his residence, bidding farewell to a representative from Yes My Radio, alongside other “leaders from cultural and sports groups,” according to a press release dated Dec. 29, 2022.

Yes My Radio’s official website has since been shut down. The Epoch Times reached out to its affiliated Chinese-language television channel, Charming China, for comment but did not receive a response by the time of publication.

In a Jan. 18, 2023, report, CGCTV founder and executive director Wang Ruijun was invited to the Chinese consulate in Toronto along with representatives from a Chinese-language media association. A photo included in the report features Mr. Wang and Zhao Wei, a Chinese diplomat who was expelled from Canada in May 2023 due to his participation in interference activities targeting Conservative MP Michael Chong and his family.
The Epoch Times attempted to contact Mr. Wang using a phone number posted online. However, the number has been deactivated.