Smearing China: Apart from pleasing US, what other benefits can Canada get?
Published: Aug 11, 2023 12:36 AM
Illustration:Liu Rui/GT

Illustration:Liu Rui/GT

On Wednesday, Canada said it is "highly probable"that China helped orchestrate an online disinformation campaign against Conservative Party lawmaker Michael Chong in May.

Upon closer examination, the statement is replete with phrases such as "likely" and "no indication." It pointed out that "while China's role in the information operation is highly probable, unequivocal proof that China ordered and directed the operation is not possible to determine." 

Even without any clear evidence, Canada is claiming the Chinese government was behind the "WeChat campaign" of sharing the so-called "misleading narratives" about the Conservative politician. This is blatantly a smear and slander.

Such practices resemble rogue behavior, with the main purpose being to attract attention and spur discussion in the international community. Regardless of the truth, even if the allegations are ultimately proven unfounded, the smear has already had its effect. Western countries are too familiar with the rules of this game and know how to use words like "probable" and "likely" to draw attention, criticize, or question China.

When reporting on Chong, Chinese media outlets often focus on how he has utilized his anti-China stance to attract attention. This does not constitute misinformation at all. The fact is, Chong has indeed been actively involved in "anti-China" campaigns and has repeatedly made unfounded accusations of a so-called "genocide" in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. As a result, this opposition MP has been prohibited from traveling to China or engaging in business with Chinese citizens.

The entire issue surrounding Canada's accusations against China revolves around Canada shamelessly smearing and spreading rumors about China. On one hand, as Liu Dan, a researcher at the Center for Regional Country Studies at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, said, the Justin Trudeau government is under domestic political pressure and needs to show a tougher stance on China. On the other hand, it has been no secret that lack of independent foreign policy, Canada is standing with the US to contain China and has become a US pawn. It is eager to cater to and please the US.

Canada has been following the US in its anti-China campaign by repeatedly spreading disinformation and discrediting China. These actions not only involve unjustified accusations and slander against China but also cause damage and humiliation to Canada itself. 

In a media statement shared on Wednesday, Chong called the campaign against him "another serious example of the communist government in Beijing attempting to interfere in our democracy by targeting elected officials." He also renewed his call for a public inquiry into the allegations of foreign interference by China in Canada.

His words, as always, are unreliable. He previously accused China of targeting him and his relatives in Hong Kong after spreading false narratives about Xinjiang. However, Canada's Wednesday statement revealed that "there was no indication Chong or his family faced any security threat." 

His accusations of alleged Chinese interference in Canada's internal affairs are groundless. China has never interfered in the internal affairs of any other country and is opposed to any interference by any country in the internal affairs of others. However, some Canadian media and politicians are once again pointing their fingers at China. Their aim is to attract attention and tarnish China's image. In fact, it is Canada that is interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and spreading disinformation. 

Following behind the US to smear and attack China, acting as a vanguard against China, besides making the US happy, what else can Canada gain? Canada should return to a more independent foreign policy instead of following the US. It should abandon its ideological bias and Cold War mentality, stop spreading lies and disinformation against China, and cease misleading the public and damaging the relationship with China. Otherwise, it will surely face the consequences of its actions.