Canadian MP Michael Chong highlights the importance of US-Canada cooperation to counter China’s interference

Foreign interference has become a pressing issue for many countries, including Canada, which faces increasing interference by Beijing. Michael Chong, a Canadian politician who has experienced firsthand the consequences of criticizing China, testified before a US Congressional committee, emphasizing the serious threat posed by China’s actions. Chong revealed that he had been targeted by China through a misinformation campaign on WeChat and had his personal information and that of his relatives in Hong Kong collected. These incidents shed light on the broader issue of China’s interference in Canadian affairs, which often goes unnoticed and unreported, leaving victims to suffer silently.

Chong raised concerns about China’s tactics, such as the recruitment of Chinese international students at Canadian universities to spy on other students and activists viewed as unfriendly to the Communist Party of China (CPC). He also exposed the existence of alleged Beijing-run “police stations” in Canada, which purportedly coerce Chinese nationals to return to China. Although China denies these allegations, Chong’s testimony emphasizes the importance of addressing and combating China’s interference in Canada.

As a result of the alleged intimidation, Chong and many others have severed ties with their families in Hong Kong to ensure their safety. This transnational repression highlights the far-reaching consequences of China’s actions. Chong emphasized the need for the US and Canada to collaborate in combating China’s interference, advocating for intelligence sharing and public exposure of China’s attempts to undermine fundamental freedoms, democratic institutions, and the rules-based international order.

US lawmakers from both parties commended Chong’s testimony, acknowledging China’s relentless targeting of activists in Hong Kong and the ongoing repression against the Uyghur population. The Congressional-Executive Commission on China, established to monitor China’s alleged intimidation tactics, has been closely observing these issues, including the disappearance and detention of individuals. The strained Canada-China relations resulting from Chong’s case led to the expulsion of diplomats from both countries, further exacerbating tensions.

To address the problem of foreign interference, Canada has launched a public inquiry into China’s activities and the actions of other countries. This inquiry aims to uncover the extent of foreign interference in Canada, including attempts to influence federal elections. Amidst these challenges, Chong’s testimony serves as a clarion call for US-Canada cooperation and concerted efforts to protect and preserve democratic values, institutions, and the rules-based global order.