Mark Collins – Top Dragon’s Anti-Corruption Drive, Chicom Spooks in Canada Section

1) Quite the Globe and Mail scoop plus more good journalism below–one wonders furiously who the “insider” leaker is (and note at end of this post the paper’s courage in printing these pieces today):

Chinese agents enter Canada on tourist visas to coerce return of fugitive expats

China’s security services have been sending undercover agents into Canada on tourist visas to strong-arm expatriates to return home, including some suspected of corruption and other criminal activities.

The secret Chinese visits have raised concern among lawyers and prompted investigations by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the RCMP, even as the Trudeau government begins negotiations for an extradition treaty with China.

According to an insider briefed on China’s secret-agent operation, the Chinese moved to tactics that include threats and intimidation because they were “ticked off” at Canada for “not being willing to send people back the instant they asked” and for dragging its feet on an extradition treaty…

Editorial: China wants an extradition treaty. Ottawa should say no
Li Keqiang: A time to nurture co-operation in China-Canada relations
[article in name of the Chinese PM–tone almost overbearing in my view, talking down to good little Canada]

The revelation comes as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives in Ottawa on Wednesday [Aug. 21] for talks with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The two leaders are expected to discuss the extradition treaty between China and Canada.

Formal talks on the extradition treaty were approved in Beijing on Sept. 12 between a top Communist Party official and Daniel Jean, national security adviser to Mr. Trudeau. A day later, a Chinese court ordered the deportation to Canada of jailed Canadian missionary Kevin Garratt [see also: “Mr Trudeau (fils) Goes to China: Norman Spector Reacts“].

China experts and opposition critics say Mr. Garratt’s release appears to be a quid pro quo for Canada beginning talks on an extradition treaty [earlier: “Dragon Arrests Canadian: Retaliation for Our Help vs Chinese Spooking Against US?“].

The covert Chinese operation has been going on for years in Canada, according to the insider briefed on the situation. It is part of a global effort by China to repatriate fugitives and recover money stolen by Communist party officials or employees of state-owned enterprises.

U.S. diplomats warned China in 2015 to stop using its security agents on American soil to pressure Chinese citizens to return home to face its court system…

Toronto refugee and immigration lawyer Lorne Waldman told The Globe and Mail some of his Chinese clients in Canada have received cellphone messages from Chinese security officials threatening them and their families if they do not return home. One client suspected that people watching him “might be from the Chinese government,” he said.

Mr. Waldman said he has worked with at least six people sought by China as fugitives. In the past year, two of them and the family of a third have been approached by CSIS agents who “asked them whether or not they had suffered harassment at the hands of those Chinese officials in Canada … in relation to their return to China, or made any threats directed toward them.”

The most recent such meeting took place this summer when “the officers told my clients that CSIS was investigating whether or not this type of harassment is occurring,” he said…

Canada’s concerns with Chinese agents sneaking into the country are long-standing. In 2000, three secret police investigators applied for visas to come to Canada as workers for China National Pulp & Paper Corp., saying they wanted to discuss “Chinese users’ requirements for Canadian pulp and paper.”

It was only later that Canada learned they came to pressure Chinese businessman Lai Changxing to return to China, where he was wanted on smuggling and bribery charges. The three police were accompanied by Mr. Lai’s brother.

The incident prompted Canada to file a diplomatic protest, said David Matas, a lawyer who represented Mr. Lai. Once called “China’s most-wanted fugitive,” Mr. Lai was deported in 2011 and sentenced to life in Chinese prison the following year…

2) Broader background:

Seven things to know about China’s overseas anti-corruption campaign

Using code names such as Fox Hunt and Skynet, China has been urging its trade partners to extradite officials it believes are guilty of economic crimes. The effort is critical to the legitimacy of President Xi Jinping, who has promised to rein in the country’s pervasive graft issue, but critics also suspect it is part of his broader effort to purge enemies and consolidate power.

As The Globe and Mail revealed Tuesday, Canada and China are formally in discussions to complete an extradition treaty that would make Canada a signatory, joining Australia, France and other democracies. Compliance will likely have benefits: bolstering trade and furthering diplomacy.

“China likes to use trade to favour countries who are being nice to them, and when they are not nice, they are punished,” said Shaun Rein, founder of China Market Research Group. In that respect, he said, Ottawa is being savvy by engaging in discussions with Beijing. But many international law experts and diplomats warn that Fox Hunt is fraught with many tripwires, beginning with China’s opaque — if not brutal — legal system where the charges originate.

Here are seven things to know about Fox Hunt…

3) Plus an opinion piece on Mr Garratt and extradition talks:

Kevin Garratt’s release offers Canada a lesson in hard Chinese bargaining
Campbell Clark

Meanwhile in the print edition September 21 there is a 16-page (!) paid insert of the Chicom China Daily extolling PM Li’s visit to Canada–plus two paid pages in the “Report on Business” [see this August Globe story: “Chinese Communist mouthpiece the People’s Daily finds an outlet in Canada”]. Good on the paper for publishing its pieces above the same day. The China Daily (Canada) is here.

Very relevant:

NY Times Notices: Dragon Devouring Canadian Chinese Media

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


7 thoughts on “Mark Collins – Top Dragon’s Anti-Corruption Drive, Chicom Spooks in Canada Section”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s