Trudeau sent a congratulatory letter, while the mayor and MPs attended an event sponsored by a Beijing-affiliated group
A pro-democracy advocate warns of covert “cultural infiltration” by the Chinese regime after several Canadian politicians lent their support to the opening celebration of a new Chinese library. The Vancouver library is part of a China-based project whose founder said it aimed to “raise the voice” of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The new library was unveiled Sept. 10 at a “Night of the Mid-Autumn Festival” event held at a winery in Richmond, just south of Vancouver. It brought together a number of federal, provincial and municipal politicians and was reported by various Chinese state media.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent a letter to the organizer of the event on the occasion of the Chinese popular festival.
“On this occasion, I join many Canadians in expressing my appreciation for the Chinese community. Canada is a nation made stronger and more resilient through our multiculturalism. This event provides a wonderful opportunity for community members to reflect on their important place in Canada,” Trudeau said in the letter, obtained by Chinese-language digital media outlet Lahoo.ca.
“Thank you to everyone who helped organize this event, and to everyone who attended this celebration.”
Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, NDP MPs Henry Yao and George Chow, and Richmond Councilors Alexa Loo and Andy Hobbs attended the event in person, according to photos taken by Lahoo.ca. The outlet also reported that Liberal MP Parm Bains’ aide presented an award to event organizer Maria Xu, whose Chinese name is Xu Ling.
The Epoch Times sought comment from the Prime Minister’s Office and other politicians who attended the event, but did not hear a response at the time of publication.
“Spreading the Voice of the CCP”
At the Sept. 10 event, Xu, a well-known figure in BC’s Chinese community, unveiled the new library, calling it a “drifting book station.” She explained that “drift” refers to books that were first collected in China and then traveled to other parts of the world.
The new library is part of a project led by the Nantong Overseas Chinese Library based in Nantong City, Jiangsu Province, China.
Nantong Library’s online catalog features its superior category as “Marxism, Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory,” followed by the categories Philosophy and Religion, Social Science Theories, Politics and Law, Military Affairs, and Economics, among other topics.
Nantong Library was founded by Zhen Xiang. He is also vice-president of Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese from Jiangsu, which is the Jiangsu provincial branch of the All-China Federation of Overseas Chinese, a key organization run by the CCP’s United Front Work Department. The United Front is “a network of party and state agencies tasked with influencing non-party groups, particularly those claiming to represent civil society”, according to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in a Report June 2020 he has published on the CCP’s foreign interference activities.
Xu is chairman of the United Global Chinese Women’s Association of Canada and the Canada Jiangsu Overseas Federation Society.
Xu’s organization made a donation to the Nantong Overseas Chinese Library at an event on October 22, 2021, covered by Ourjiangsu.com, a Chinese website direct ownership by the Jiangsu branch of the CCP’s underground United Front. However, the article was removed after some Western media published reports of the library’s unveiling.
“In the future, Overseas Chinese Library Book Drift Stations will be established in various overseas locations,” Zhen said at the October 2021 event, according to the article. ‘Ourjiangsu.com. “[Nantong Overseas Chinese Library] send our books there, increase donations even more, [so as to] spread the voice of the Communist Party of China and the country abroad, as well as the knowledge of Chinese culture.
Xu, who traveled to China to attend the event, said at the time that Zhen’s donation was very significant in that it allows overseas Chinese around the world to be still better able to transmit Chinese culture to future generations, while allowing Chinese people from all over the world to experience the history of the pioneering work of overseas Chinese.
A article in english published on the Nantong City Government website on August 19 indicates that by mid-August 2022, the Nantong Overseas Chinese Library had reached agreements with overseas Chinese organizations and Chinese language schools in 27 countries to build a total of 42 book drift stations. The first such library was opened to the public in Rwanda’s capital Kigali on April 22, according to the article.
The article also quoted Zhen as saying that the library plans to build 100 overseas book drift stations by the end of 2023.
The unveiling of the library in Vancouver included a special signing ceremony, with 11 Chinese-language schools and four educational institutions in British Columbia reaching an agreement to establish book drift stations, according to the Lahoo.ca article. , quoting Xu as saying that the Chinese Language Association of British Columbia (CLABC) helped facilitate the agreements. This news was also reported by rmzxb.com.cna Chinese state media established and supervised directly by the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a political advisory body of the CPC and a central part of the United Front.
The Epoch Times reached out to Xu and CLABC for comment, but had no response at the time of publication.
The library project’s focus raises concerns of “cultural infiltration”, said Sheng Xue, a top leader of China’s overseas pro-democracy movement. Sheng is vice-president of the Federation for a Democratic China and co-founder of the Canadian Coalition Against Communism.
“When an entity from China is introduced, it can only represent the Chinese Communist Party, because in China there is no civil organization, institution or even domain,” Sheng told The Epoch Times, noting that the CCP’s cultural infiltration is “unprecedented” and “multifaceted.”
“Westerners need to realize that for a CCP entity introduced into our society, its purpose is not what it appears to be – neither cultural, nor educational, nor even linguistic, linguistic, or artistic. They are none of that, but rather the will of the Chinese Communist Party. »
Sheng said Canada and Western society in general have had experiences in the past with Beijing’s efforts to infiltrate their organizations and communities with seemingly innocuous interactions, pointing to the introduction of Confucius Institutes (CIs) into countries. democratic.
She also pointed to Chinese-language media that operate in Canada despite protests from overseas pro-democracy Chinese communities, which has resulted in the majority of the estimated 1.5 million Chinese-Canadians receiving content representing the CCP.
“That in itself poses direct harm to Canada,” she said.
“Now we see that the Confucius Institute is facing global sanction, and they are shutting down one by one, and many are becoming aware of the CCP media, so [the Party] are currently promoting a so-called library project, but their goals are exactly the same.
Sheng said many Canadian politicians look to the large Chinese-Canadian community as a way to get votes, but notes that while these politicians deal with groups cooperating with the CCP, they have overlooked the “silent majority.” Chinese immigrants who came to Canada in search of freedom and democracy.
“We must also remember that while the CCP seems endemic and active, there is a silent Chinese majority,” she said. “Canadian politicians should know that what they are doing is hurting… those in the silent majority of the Chinese community, and the majority of Chinese communities will avoid [those politicians].”
Global Chinese Education Alliance
The library event also included the inauguration ceremony of the Global Alliance for Chinese Education.
“The alliance plans to select high-quality Chinese language schools or Chinese educational institutions around the world and form alliances with them to jointly promote higher-level Chinese language teaching and learning activities. cultural exchange”, reported the rmzxb.com.cn media.
Xu is listed as a a chair of honor on the website of the Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations (ACCA), an umbrella organization of more than 100 Chinese organizations that has been reported as echoing the CCP party line.
The CACA, along with the two other organizations to which Xu is affiliated, were among the 87 signatories of a letter published on August 16 on Dawa News, a Chinese-language media website, which supported Beijing’s recent post white paper on Taiwan. The document, titled “The Taiwan Question and China’s Reunification in the New Era”, was widely reported as an indication of the regime’s heightened willingness to forcefully invade self-governing democracy.
In 2020, Xu was kicked out of Liberal MP Joyce Murray’s WeChat group for pushing for a lawsuit against the Global News investigative reporter Sam Cooper. Earlier that year, Cooper published an article exposing United Front operations in Canada that involved buying personal protective equipment in bulk and shipping it to China before the COVID-19 pandemic broke.