Trudeau accuses China of interfering in Canadian elections, offers no proof yet
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, June 28, 2019. Trudeau has accused China of interfering in Canadian elections. | Adrian Wyld / The Canadian Press via AP

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has claimed China is interfering in the country’s elections, based on unsubstantiated allegations by security officials.

Trudeau picked up on a local news report citing unnamed sources who claimed China had organized a “clandestine network” of Beijing-backed candidates across Canada’s political parties.

The furor is reminiscent of the scare in Britain last January when spies alleged a Chinese businesswoman, Christine Lee, was buying influence in Parliament, though no evidence of illegal activity was ever provided. It is a different take on the alleged cyber interference and social media manipulation in U.S. elections by Russia in 2016 and 2020.

Trudeau accused China and other unnamed countries of playing “aggressive games with our democracies.” China dismissed the claim.

Canada—like Britain, Australia, and New Zealand—is a member of the U.S.-dominated Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, meaning its security services are in constant collaboration with those of the United States.

Accusations of U.S. influence in Canadian politics and policy circulated when in 2018 Canada arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver airport, holding her until late 2021 under threat of extradition to the U.S. for alleged complicity in the Chinese firm breaching U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Fiona Edwards of No Cold War told the press that hysteria over alleged Chinese influence had dangerous repercussions.

“There is an ominous trend developing in countries that are following the U.S.’s new Cold War agenda to demonize the participation of people of Chinese heritage in public life,” she said.

“The Chinese diaspora in Canada, the U.S., Australia, and Britain are being targeted in an anti-democratic witch-hunt for engaging in politics and academia.

“This Cold War posturing to smear and exclude people of Chinese heritage has directly fuelled a horrific rise in anti-Asian hate crime in Europe and North America.”

Morning Star


Ben Chacko
Ben Chacko

Ben Chacko is Editor of Morning Star, the socialist daily newspaper published in Great Britain.