CCP intent on eliminating dissenters in overseas Chinese communities
By Isaac Teo January 27, 2022
From identifying “enemies” and monitoring dissidents to manipulating local organizations, the CCP in Beijing is using every means in its toolbox to silence those in overseas Chinese communities, including in Canada, it views as a threat, according to a government report.
The report showed that China is actively engaged in a “systematic campaign of intelligence-gathering, persuasion, influence, and manipulation” against dissident voices through its Overseas Chinese Affairs Office (OCAO).
The OCAO, which the Chinese regime claims “protect[s] the legitimate rights and interests of overseas Chinese,” was tasked with “influencing or manipulating” community members and using “coercive tactics” against those who challenged the regime, according to the report.
“This involves intimidation of OC (Overseas Chinese) at every level of society,” said the report, authored by the Canada Border Security Agency (CBSA) in March 2020 and obtained by Global News, which published an article on it on Jan. 26.
“The managing of their behaviour is accomplished through incentive or disincentive, as well as intelligence-gathering, surveillance, and subversion against OC communities.”
The CBSA report added that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) seeks to eliminate any perceived overseas threats to its power, such as from Taiwan independence advocates and Falun Gong adherents, and relies on the OCAO, which is established “in almost every country to personally liaise with local OC communities.”
According to Global News, the report was disclosed during a recent court case involving former OCAO employee Yong Zhang and his spouse Yuxia Gao, who were both denied permanent residency in Canada when their appeal was dismissed by the Federal Court on Jan. 19.
In her ruling, Justice Vanessa Rochester wrote that while the couple was sponsored by their daughter, who is a naturalized citizen, a Canadian immigration officer in Hong Kong had deemed them inadmissible due to Zhang’s previous employment with OCAO.
“The Officer determined that there were reasonable grounds to believe that OCAO had engaged in acts of espionage that are ‘contrary to Canada’s interests,’” she wrote.
Zhang’s lawyer Jacqueline Bonisteel told Global that her client was never alleged to have engaged in spying for China; he was just a low-level member of an organization Canada accused of espionage.
“He had no personal involvement, he is not a spy,” Bonisteel said.