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Feeling the long arm of China.The Globe & Mail i thought i should share this article!

Discussion in 'Political Debates' started by minime1111, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. minime1111

    minime1111 New Member

    Sep 1, 2005
    Feeling the long arm of China
    The consul-general is making sure politicians know where her country stands

    The Globe and Mail
    Saturday, August 6, 2005

    When the Dalai Lama announced plans to visit Toronto last year, China's consul-general wasn't happy. "It has come to my attention that . . . the Economic Development Committee of the City of Toronto has been rendering assistance to Dalai's visit," Chen Xiaoling wrote to all 44 city councillors, including Mayor David Miller.

    Calling the Dalai Lama "the biggest serf owner in old Tibet," Ms. Chen warned that economic and cultural co-operation between China and Toronto was at stake. "That is why I write to you, in the hope that the City of Toronto continues to respect China's sovereignty over Tibet . . . by not allowing and facilitating Dalai's visit to Toronto, not declaring the so-called 'Tibet Week,' not having any official contacts with Dalai."

    Ms. Chen is on a two-month vacation and wasn't available for comment.

    Zhang Hua, a Chinese consulate spokesman, said, "The consulate . . . has never and will never participate in or interfere with Canada's affairs."


    But interviews with politicians, community activists and documents obtained by The Globe and Mail show that the Toronto consulate and its friends have repeatedly tried to influence political decisions at the federal, provincial and municipal levels that conflict with the interests of China's Communist regime.

    The stakes are high. With the Beijing Summer Olympics just three years away, the regime is hyper-sensitive about its image. And with China now Canada's third-largest trading partner, Torontonians have an interest in maintaining good relations -- they could provide an entrée into the world's fastest-growing economy.

    "They always hold that over you. It's the big stick," said Michael Walker, city councillor for St. Paul's. "They've written letters, put pressure on us suggesting that we might jeopardize business deals." Among those he has heard mentioned are the sale of Candu reactors (failed), a Bombardier rail link to Tibet (successful) and a two-panda loan for the Metro Toronto Zoo (in negotiation).

    Last January, Mr. Walker and other councillors received yet another letter from the consulate, this time advising them to boycott a Chinese New Year's party in Toronto. "You may have received an invitation to the gala or have been asked to send a letter of congratulation to this event," it said. "We hope you will handle this invitation with great caution."

    The host organization, a Toronto television station called New Tang Dynasty, is linked to the spiritual-exercise group Falun Gong. Also known as Falun Dafa, it stunned Chinese authorities in 1999 when 10,000 adherents staged a sit-in outside Communist Party headquarters in Beijing.

    China has since outlawed the group and now arrests devotees, often sentencing them without trial to years in a labour camp.

    But on the sidewalk outside the Chinese consulate on St. George Street, adherents protest daily and with impunity. Last year, Joel Chipkar, a spokesman, successfully sued a deputy consul-general for defamation for calling him a member of a "sinister cult." After the diplomat ignored an Ontario Superior Court order to pay $1,000 in damages and $10,000 in legal costs, the court ordered the Bank of China in Toronto to freeze his account and garnishee the money. The Chinese government-owned bank also ignored the court order. The diplomat returned unimpeded to China.

    Mr. Walker, who considers the meditation group a "lifestyle" choice, discovered how sensitive the consulate is about Falun Gong in 2001 when he first proposed a day in its honour. The consulate wrote to every city councillor. Echoing its own policy in China, it also asked them to ban the group from "government venues" such as Nathan Phillips Square.

    "Most of us will be friendly with China," Mr. Walker said. "It's such a big economy. But it can't abuse that power. When they interfere in our internal affairs, that's where I draw the line."

    Last year, the consulate again wrote city councillors, spelling out exactly why they should vote down a Falun Gong week. "If passed, the motion will have a very negative effect on our future beneficial exchanges and co-operation," it warned.

    Reynald Doiron, chief spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa, said he was not aware of the consulate's activities. He noted that Chinese diplomats in Canada are allowed to explain their government's position on various matters.

    "But threatening retaliatory measures is somewhat off the mark," Mr. Doiron
    said. "What construes acceptable behaviour or meddling in local affairs has
    to be determined by the protocol section."

    Socializing is part of a diplomat's job, of course. Local politicians say
    admiringly that Ms. Chen is particularly energetic, often inviting them to
    lunch and dinner. But she also goes as far as to suggest that they vote
    certain ways, or face consequences.

    Ms. Chen has personally lobbied the mayor on the issue of a Falun Gong day,
    according to a spokesman for Mr. Miller. Councillor Adam Giambrone
    (Davenport), who has met Ms. Chen several times, thinks that she and other
    consulate officials raised the issue over lunch. "They expressed their
    opinion about not wishing this to go forward."

    Honorary days or weeks are normally innocuous. Last year's selections
    included Gingivitis Week and School Crossing Guard Appreciation Day. Tibet
    Week, however, never got off the ground. And each year a majority of city
    councillors vote down a resolution to commemorate Falun Gong. Sometimes they
    even vote down the chance to debate the issue.

    Norm Kelly (Scarborough-Agincourt) and Giorgio Mammoliti (York West) have
    lunched with Ms. Chen. And they are among those who defeat the measure each

    Mr. Kelly, who hosted a backyard BBQ to welcome Ms. Chen when she first
    arrived, said he voted against a Falun Gong day because it was beyond the
    "city's realm."

    Mr. Mammoliti, a previous chair of the Toronto Zoo, also votes against Falun
    Gong days. The zoo has been trying to bring two pandas here, and Mr.
    Mammoliti said Ms. Chen has played a key role in the ongoing negotiations.
    "She was very instrumental in helping us get meetings in China with the
    right people."

    Raymond Cho (Scarborough-Rouge River), who is the zoo's current chairman,
    said he declares a conflict of interest and abstains from voting on a Falun
    Gong day . "If I support Falun Gong, I don't think the Chinese government
    would appreciate that," Mr. Cho said.

    Last month, Mr. Walker -- who has never lunched with Ms. Chen -- made a
    motion asking the federal government to investigate allegations by defectors
    that China has 1,000 spies in Canada. The next day, Mr. Mammoliti said he
    couldn't recall the motion or how he voted. When pressed, he said, "I
    probably voted against it." Asked why, he said: "I haven't seen any spies in
    the city of Toronto."

    Tony Wong (MPP-Markham) has also experienced the attention of the consulate.
    An outspoken critic of China after the 1989 Tiananmen massacre, he was
    ignored by the consulate when he first ran in 1994 for a council seat in

    He lost that election, but ran again in 1997 and won. "That's when they
    invited me to the [Chinese] National Day celebration in Toronto," Mr. Wong
    said. His staff confirms that relations warmed as he kept winning

    After Mr. Wong became the only Chinese Canadian elected at the provincial
    level, the consul-general invited him and his wife for a 10-course banquet
    prepared at her $3-million residence on the Bridle Path. "They were probably
    happy I condemned Falun Gong," said Mr. Wong, 56. "They talked to me about
    how difficult it is to deal with Falun Gong outside of China because Falun
    Gong is able to get the sympathy and support of politicians here who don't
    understand its true nature."

    Ms. Chen isn't the only one in Toronto concerned about furthering the
    interests of the Chinese government. The most prominent of the consulate's
    friends are Hughes Eng and Ping Tan, two Chinese-Canadian community leaders
    widely perceived as Chinatown's go-to guys. Asked about his relationship
    with the consulate, Mr. Eng replied: "We seem to be working fine with them."

    Take the campaign to squelch a Falun Gong day. After the consulate wrote to
    city councillors, Mr. Eng sent similar letters to them, in his capacity as
    chairman of the Confederation of Toronto Chinese Canadian Organizations.

    this is a portion of this article t read the rest plz go to this link
    link to this article: http://www.tibet.ca/en/wtnarchive/2005/8/7_1.html
  2. greatcalgarian

    greatcalgarian Well-Known Member

    May 12, 2005
  3. greatcalgarian

    greatcalgarian Well-Known Member

    May 12, 2005



    Above links on Tibet and below link on multiculturalism like in Canada::D


    And freedom in religious practice but not for cult like organization::jam:


    And read them in Chinese
  4. Feathers in Hair

    Feathers in Hair World's Tallest Hobbit

    Aug 27, 2004
    Uh-hunh... Yeah. *resists urge to pound on computer*
    • Like Like x 1
  5. ChrisP

    ChrisP Veteran Member

    Aug 17, 2005