In their zeal to assist the US Empire’s bid to contain China’s rise the NDP is campaigning against left-wing activists.
Recently NDP MP Jenny Kwan launched a petition calling for a foreign-agent registry. The Vancouver MP participated in a Toronto press conference promoting a parliamentary petition responding to another petition backed by Canada-China Focus, Rideau Institute, Canadian Foreign Policy Institute and other leftist groups. Calling on the government to “reconsider its proposed Foreign Influence Transparency Registry”, the left petition cautioned against “serious harassment and stigmatization risk for racialized communities.” It further noted, “A broad definition of foreign influence could infringe on Canadians’ charter rights while stifling international business and civil society links that are beneficial for Canada. It could also create a chill within vulnerable communities, leading them to withdraw from civic engagement and public service, which will result in their further marginalization.”
As part of their hawkish position on China the NDP has repeatedly raised a foreign agent registry despite criticism that it represents “a danger to Canadian democracy”. Kwan has become the face of the NDP campaign since CSIS declared that she was “targeted” by China. After being briefed by the intelligence agency in May, Kwan refused to divulge any details about the actions purportedly taken against her, but stated “what CSIS confirmed with me is that I was a target and I continue to be a target.” Kwan added, “they use the term ‘evergreen’ meaning that I will forever be targeted.”
Kwan is an odd ‘target’ for a Chinese campaign. In fact, she may be the least sensible ‘target’ among two dozen NDP MPs. Kwan represents Vancouver East, which has been an NDP stronghold since the party was founded six decades ago. In the 2021 election Kwan won 56.4% of the vote with her main competitor garnering a measly 19.8%. No matter how much effort was deployed there is little chance any foreign government or major institution could defeat her.
But logic isn’t important amidst the Chinese interference hysteria. A recent front-page National Post article claimed Conservative MP Michael Chong was the victim of a China-backed misinformation campaign on the social media app WeChat during byelections in the Spring. In explaining why Chong was targeted even though he wasn’t running, the paper quoted “Stephanie Carvin, a former national security analyst with the Canadian government now a professor at Carleton University” who “said it’s possible Chong was targeted, despite not being a candidate in the byelections because China doesn’t have a good grasp of how Canadian democracy works.” So, Canadian politics are being manipulated by a government that doesn’t understand byelections!
The wildly outsized focus on Chinese interference is a way to justify assisting the US Empire’s bid to contain China’s rise. The NDP is supporting the intelligence agencies/arms industry/US empire faction of Canada’s ruling class that is stoking tensions with China. They’ve promoted Taiwanese secession and militarizing the region.
On Tuesday the front page of a major Taiwanese paper announced that Canadian vessels would soon be transiting through the Taiwan Strait and Nikkei reported “three Canadian naval vessels arrived Monday at Japan’s Yokosuka port as Ottawa moves to bolster Indo-Pacific security amid soaring concerns about China and North Korea’s saber-rattling.” Canadian warships have traveled halfway across world so Ottawa can tout Canada’s willingness to pick a fight with China to the hawks in Washington. The NDP has supported these provocative naval missions.
Rather than increase tension, the NDP should seek to cooperate with China to overcome the climate crisis. By amplifying China hysteria, the NDP has made climate cooperation more difficult as highlighted by recent Conservative attacks against Steven Guilbeault for participating in the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development.
Without Chinese/G7 cooperation on the climate crisis the future of civilization, if not the species, is in peril.
Yet the “rivalry between the US and China is a project without end”, noted Edward Luce in a Financial Times column. “Short of Armageddon, there is no scenario in which either the US or China will emerge as the world’s sole hegemon.”
Have Kwan, Jagmeet Singh, Heather McPherson and the NDP brass thought this through? I doubt it.
The NDP appears to just be stumbling along behind CSIS, Washington and the arms industry on hyping the China threat.