Canada: ‘Do not be afraid’: As Beijing flexes its muscle, groups teach Canadian values to Chinese immigrants - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada‘Do not be afraid’: As Beijing flexes its muscle, groups teach Canadian values to Chinese immigrants

06:50  15 march  2019
06:50  15 march  2019 Source:   nationalpost.com

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“ China is not shy about using overseas Chinese communities to advance its interests abroad,” said Minxin Pei He noted that many Chinese - Canadians were clearly not afraid to criticize Beijing . Today, he said, as immigration from China has soared, Chinese officials have gained more leverage.

The history of Chinese Americans or the history of ethnic Chinese in the United States includes three major waves of Chinese immigration to the United States, beginning in the 19th century.

‘Do not be afraid’: As Beijing flexes its muscle, groups teach Canadian values to Chinese immigrants © Nick Procaylo/PostMedia Meena Wong is an immigrant from Beijing who openly criticizes her mother country’s government.

As the official spokeswoman for the Chinese-Canadian family of a 13-year-old girl murdered in Burnaby, B.C., Meena Wong’s thoughtful comments about the case earlier this month were broadly covered by the province’s English-language media.

In the local Chinese press, she was all but ignored.

It was no big surprise. A Beijing native who openly criticizes her mother country’s government, Wong says she’s not exactly a sought-after figure in the Chinese-immigrant establishment. Buffeted by Beijing’s soft-power muscle-flexing, many in the community shy away from any public criticism of China’s Communist regime.

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This was China , after all, and having been teaching in the country for several months already, he'd learned not to be taken aback by bizarre situations. Chris, a former private school administrator who applied to teach at Disney after falling in love with Chengdu's energy, is not alone.

As with many other groups of immigrants , Chinese initially found it hard to adjust and assimilate into life in Canada . The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association requested its members to purchase Canadian and "'We are not asking you to open the gates for Chinese immigration ': The

But an unusual group Wong founded may offer an antidote.

The Civic Engagement Network seeks partly to remind newcomers from the People’s Republic about Canadian values and human rights, and an event Friday — called “What does being Canadian mean?” — will try to drive home the importance of those freedoms.

Among the speakers at a local library branch, is a Vancouver blogger who tested the limits of the democratic system. Bingchen Gao helped expose a 2016 fundraising dinner for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended by a Chinese billionaire, an event that prompted allegations Trudeau was selling access to foreign business people. He later fought off a libel suit by the fundraiser’s host.

“The reason I came here personally was because of what Canada stands for,” said Wong. “I feel free to speak up, I feel free to live the life I want to live without fear … As a Canadian, I want to focus on people from China, Chinese-speaking residents to (help them) understand what this country is all about.”

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Chinese immigrants are the second largest foreign-born group in Canada . Prince Edward Island experienced the highest percentage increase of Chinese immigrants (1556%) from 90 in Please note that we used data from the National Household Survey (NHS) knowing that its quality is still

In her bid to win recent immigrants over to Canada’s liberal system, Wong has some company.

Another Vancouver-area group, the Alliance of the Guard of Canadian Values, holds protests against Chinese policies, but also regular seminars to talk to new immigrants about Canadian democratic principles, says leader Louis Huang.

Some have simply been kept ignorant of the dark side of China’s autocratic system; he speaks to students studying here who know virtually nothing about the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.

Huang said most leave China for Canada to escape that system, but realize that if they question the party line, relatives overseas could be threatened, or businesses they own there undermined.

“Our goal is to tell them, ‘Do not be afraid,’ ” said the former Shanghai pediatrician. “If more and more people speak out, say no to the Chinese Communist Party, we can make progress, one by one, step by step.”

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But among Chinese with very few exceptions, it ’ s an article of faith that Hillary Clinton is not only a Several first-generation immigrants supporting Trump on local WeChat groups have been totally up The pro-Trump Chinese immigrant is a type familiar to her. They’re the same shrill, obnoxious

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Added Huang: “Canada is a country that welcomes all the immigrants, but all the immigrants have a responsibility to respect Canadian values, to respect human rights, the Charter, our culture.”

Experts, though, say China has funneled unprecedented resources recently into its own campaign to mould opinion in foreign countries, targeting both the Chinese diaspora and business and political elites.

It’s a drive that is attracting new attention in the wake of Canada’s arrest of Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, and the diplomatic war with China it set off.

Louis Huang of the Alliance of the Guard of Canadian Values says he speaks to Chinese students studying in Canada who know virtually nothing about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

Huang argues the Chinese Communist party has penetrated “deep in our political, social and economic system” but that governments here are largely oblivious. Like Wong, he has also been ignored by the Beijing-aligned Chinese media, who looked the other way when another of his groups put up bus-shelter ads last year advocating for democracy in China. Only after the Globe and Mail reported on the campaign did one Chinese-language reporter approach him, saying it was now “safe” to cover the story, Huang says.

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But heralding its “special relationship” with China , and heavily reliant on trade and investment, Malaysia’s previous responses to China ’s activity in China ’s influence in Malaysia’s domestic affairs has always been a concern for the Malay-majority nation. Ethnic Chinese in Malaysia account for

Chinese immigrants are the third-largest foreign-born group in the United States, after Mexicans and Indians. Nationals of Hong Kong, a territory of the United Kingdom until 1997, were not subject to the same set of immigration limits as mainland Chinese citizens; they began moving to the United States

But he believes the outreach from his Canadian-values coalition is having an impact. At protests outside the Chinese consulate — such as one recently to condemn the detention of two Canadians in China after Meng’s arrest — the number of Chinese-Canadian demonstrators has been growing, said Huang.

Wong’s own story could itself serve as an inspiration for embracing Canadian democratic principles.

She came to Canada as a student in 1981 after her family had defected from Beijing to British-controlled Hong Kong in the early 1970s. As the granddaughter of a former businessman, and thus part of a “blood-sucking” capitalist family, she says she had been bullied and beaten during the Cultural Revolution.

In her new home, Wong became heavily involved in politics, working for New Democratic Party politician Olivia Chow in Toronto, running as a federal NDP candidate in B.C., and vying for Vancouver mayor in 2014 under the banner of the left-leaning Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE).

Meanwhile, she has also spoken out against the Chinese government, protesting the raising of the Red Flag at Vancouver city hall, and criticizing Communist Party policies online.

At one point, her run for Vancouver mayor brought an informal invitation to the local Chinese consulate, a typical way for the diplomats to reach out to politicians from the community.

The formal invite never came, and Wong hasn’t been asked back since.

“I suspect the consul general found out about my ‘inclination.’ “

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