Communist-Style Surveillance and Stalking Have No Place in Canada

Commentary In a communist country, you can never be quite sure who is listening to you and what might happen if you say the wrong thing to the wrong person.Should Canadians have to suffer from the same indecision, anxiety, and worry?Chinese-Canadians, Hong Kongers, Tibetans, Uyghurs, and more who dare to speak out against the oppressive Chinese Communist Party are, sadly, in that same conundrum—even when they’ve made it to a safer, freer country.It’s not a newly uncovered fact that dissidents against the CCP fall into the Xi regime’s crosshairs, even abroad. Just think about Conservative MP Michael Chong, whose electoral campaign was targeted by Chinese disinformation. This isn’t a one-party issue, either; the NDP’s Jenny Kwan has been similarly targeted.But it’s not just politicians. There is evidence that everyday people who don’t support the CCP are being harassed. One media outlet reported that a burly Chinese man filmed pro-Hong Kong protesters from a distance during a demonstration in favour of democracy in Vancouver. Cherie Wong, a pro-Hong Kong activist from Toronto, told CTV she’s received threatening phone calls in the middle of the night. Turnisa Matsedik-Qira, a Uyghur Canadian activist in Vancouver, told Global News she’s been spat on by CCP loyalists, received threatening phone calls, and had her children threatened. As far back as 2001, practitioners of the Falun Gong spiritual group in Calgary said they had been targeted.None of this should be surprising. It’s in the name: the Chinese Communist Party. When have communist and socialist countries ever had a track record of respecting human rights and peacefully allowing dissent?Stalin’s Russia, Castro’s Cuba, Kim’s Korea. We rightfully look back on those regimes in disgust, where millions were slaughtered or thrown in prison camps, starved to death, tortured, forced to inform on their families, and more.The Chinese regime is no different. Sure, they’ve made some economic reforms and the average Chinese citizen is less likely to starve to death now than 40 years ago. But the socialist-style surveillance and persecution of citizens is far from gone.Chinese Canadians who have made their way to a better country shouldn’t have to worry about the regime punishing them for speaking their minds.So what can be done about it?There are a number of potential steps raised by policy experts, politicians, and activists. One is to create a registry of foreign agents in collaboration with other western democracies. Another is to investigate any links the CCP may have to Chinese-language media in Canada.These are good ideas, and there are surely many more on the policy side that could help the situation. But on the cultural side of things, it’s important to make sure people are aware of what’s going on. To quote Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, author of “The Gulag Archipelago” (one of the most comprehensive accounts of the horrors of life in socialist Russia):“Thus many were shot ‒ thousands at first, then hundreds of thousands. We divide, we multiply, we sigh, we curse. But still and all, these are just numbers. They overwhelm the mind and then are easily forgotten. And if someday the relatives of those who had been shot were to send one publisher photographs of their executed kin … then just by leafing through them and looking into the extinguished eyes we would learn much that would be valuable for the rest of our lives.”With that in mind, SecondStreet.org is hoping to compile stories from Chinese Canadians, Uyghur Canadians, Falun Gong practitioners, Hong Kong Canadians, and anyone else who’s been targeted by the CCP for an upcoming report. (If you have been targeted and are interested in filling out our anonymous survey, please contact me via email at [email protected].)Not only can spreading awareness like this help draw attention to the plight of those targeted by the CCP, but it can also help Canadians see the dangers of socialism.There’s a phrase you’ll often hear: “Socialism is a great idea in theory, but it doesn’t seem to work out in practice.”It’s hard to believe any great idea could lead to millions of deaths, labour camps, and mass starvation. Activists will often point to socialism as some utopian idea that leads to everyone holding hands, singing “Kumbaya,” and getting along just fine, but the reality never seems to work out that way.Simply look at where it’s been tried. Do you want Canada to look like the Soviet Union of the 1940s? Or even modern-day China? If not, then it’s a good idea to take threats like the CCP and its underlying ideology seriously.Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Communist-Style Surveillance and Stalking Have No Place in Canada
.
Commentary

In a communist country, you can never be quite sure who is listening to you and what might happen if you say the wrong thing to the wrong person.

Should Canadians have to suffer from the same indecision, anxiety, and worry?

Chinese-Canadians, Hong Kongers, Tibetans, Uyghurs, and more who dare to speak out against the oppressive Chinese Communist Party are, sadly, in that same conundrum—even when they’ve made it to a safer, freer country.

It’s not a newly uncovered fact that dissidents against the CCP fall into the Xi regime’s crosshairs, even abroad. Just think about Conservative MP Michael Chong, whose electoral campaign was targeted by Chinese disinformation. This isn’t a one-party issue, either; the NDP’s Jenny Kwan has been similarly targeted.

But it’s not just politicians. There is evidence that everyday people who don’t support the CCP are being harassed.

 One media outlet reported that a burly Chinese man filmed pro-Hong Kong protesters from a distance during a demonstration in favour of democracy in Vancouver. Cherie Wong, a pro-Hong Kong activist from Toronto, told CTV she’s received threatening phone calls in the middle of the night. Turnisa Matsedik-Qira, a Uyghur Canadian activist in Vancouver, told Global News she’s been spat on by CCP loyalists, received threatening phone calls, and had her children threatened. As far back as 2001, practitioners of the Falun Gong spiritual group in Calgary said they had been targeted.

None of this should be surprising. It’s in the name: the Chinese Communist Party. When have communist and socialist countries ever had a track record of respecting human rights and peacefully allowing dissent?

Stalin’s Russia, Castro’s Cuba, Kim’s Korea. We rightfully look back on those regimes in disgust, where millions were slaughtered or thrown in prison camps, starved to death, tortured, forced to inform on their families, and more.

The Chinese regime is no different. Sure, they’ve made some economic reforms and the average Chinese citizen is less likely to starve to death now than 40 years ago. But the socialist-style surveillance and persecution of citizens is far from gone.

Chinese Canadians who have made their way to a better country shouldn’t have to worry about the regime punishing them for speaking their minds.

So what can be done about it?

There are a number of potential steps raised by policy experts, politicians, and activists. One is to create a registry of foreign agents in collaboration with other western democracies. Another is to investigate any links the CCP may have to Chinese-language media in Canada.

These are good ideas, and there are surely many more on the policy side that could help the situation. But on the cultural side of things, it’s important to make sure people are aware of what’s going on. To quote Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, author of “The Gulag Archipelago” (one of the most comprehensive accounts of the horrors of life in socialist Russia):

“Thus many were shot ‒ thousands at first, then hundreds of thousands. We divide, we multiply, we sigh, we curse. But still and all, these are just numbers. They overwhelm the mind and then are easily forgotten. And if someday the relatives of those who had been shot were to send one publisher photographs of their executed kin … then just by leafing through them and looking into the extinguished eyes we would learn much that would be valuable for the rest of our lives.”

With that in mind, SecondStreet.org is hoping to compile stories from Chinese Canadians, Uyghur Canadians, Falun Gong practitioners, Hong Kong Canadians, and anyone else who’s been targeted by the CCP for an upcoming report. (If you have been targeted and are interested in filling out our anonymous survey, please contact me via email at [email protected].)

Not only can spreading awareness like this help draw attention to the plight of those targeted by the CCP, but it can also help Canadians see the dangers of socialism.

There’s a phrase you’ll often hear: “Socialism is a great idea in theory, but it doesn’t seem to work out in practice.”

It’s hard to believe any great idea could lead to millions of deaths, labour camps, and mass starvation. Activists will often point to socialism as some utopian idea that leads to everyone holding hands, singing “Kumbaya,” and getting along just fine, but the reality never seems to work out that way.

Simply look at where it’s been tried. Do you want Canada to look like the Soviet Union of the 1940s? Or even modern-day China? If not, then it’s a good idea to take threats like the CCP and its underlying ideology seriously.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

.