Canada, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has reportedly been following a troubling path of cooperating with China in the pursuit of dissidents residing within its borders, as revealed by a recent investigation conducted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's 'The Fifth Estate.' This report exposes a complex relationship that raises concerns about the erosion of Canada's commitment to human rights and its willingness to engage in a quid pro quo with Beijing to safeguard economic interests.
According to 'The Fifth Estate,' Trudeau's administration has been actively assisting the Chinese government in tracking down Chinese dissidents who have sought asylum in Canada. The motivation behind this cooperation appears to be a trade-off, where Canada provides support to Beijing in various areas, including trade, combating the illegal drug trade, and negotiating the release of detained Canadian nationals in China.
The investigative report draws upon insights from individuals with firsthand knowledge of the intricate relationship between the Canadian government and China's leadership, revealing that high-level officials in Ottawa have directed law enforcement agencies, such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), to collaborate with their Chinese counterparts in pursuing fugitives within Canada. This cooperation raises questions about the degree to which Canadian authorities are influenced by Beijing's interests.
The partnership between Canada and China seems to be rooted in economic interests, as suggested by Lorne Waldman, an immigration lawyer based in Toronto. He emphasized that Ottawa has been willing to turn a blind eye to China's rule of law deficiencies and the credibility of evidence provided by Chinese authorities. Over time, this collaboration has allowed Chinese agents to operate within Canadian borders with relative impunity.
China's aggressive pursuit of dissidents is facilitated by long-arm police operations known as Sky Net and Fox Hunt, initiated in 2014. These operations are aimed at repatriating individuals who are labelled as corrupt public officials and economic criminals. The Canadian report sheds light on the challenges posed by these operations, which extend beyond China's borders, potentially threatening the safety and rights of individuals who have sought refuge in Canada.
Earlier this year, there were concerns raised about the alleged presence of Chinese police stations in major Canadian cities, including Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. 'The Fifth Estate' suggests that the return of these fugitives has been showcased on state television in Beijing, further underscoring the collaboration between the two nations.
The investigation conducted by 'The Fifth Estate' highlights a complex relationship between Canada and China, where the pursuit of economic interests appears to have compromised Canada's commitment to safeguarding the rights and safety of dissidents seeking refuge within its borders. This raises important questions about the extent to which Canada should engage with authoritarian regimes in the pursuit of its economic goals.