Richmond Conservative MP Kenny Chiu — who was sanctioned by China in March — says there is a concerted effort to spread misinformation about him.
“I kind of anticipated some of the blowback and attacks because of my relatively strong and clear position on foreign interference and influence, and also speaking up for human rights and democracy around the world. But what I did not anticipate is some of the smears and the level of falsehood that's been circulated in WeChat and even now popping up on WhatsApp,” said Chiu, who, is a staunch critic of the CCP’s human rights violations and supporter of Hong Kong’s democratic movement.
Messages on WeChat (China’s state-monitored social media platform) show support for the Liberals and strong criticism levied against the Conservatives.
“Please vote for the Liberals and use your power in the Chinese community so that we can have a chance to influence the future of Canada,” one message states.
Another message circulating is addressed to “overseas Chinese.”
It reads: “As long as we ethnic Chinese unite, resolutely do not vote for those crazy sinophobic Conservative candidates and cast your precious votes for the Liberal candidates in your ridings, we will surely defeat the Conservative Party.”
Another message describes the CCP’s “road to socialism with Chinese characteristics” and states that Canada's economy can improve if it maintains friendly relations with China; something implied only to be possible under a Liberal government.
Hong Kong-born Chiu said he couldn’t tell if the campaign against him was an instance of foreign interference.
“I don't know, I just think that there are people hiding in the shadow with political purpose, to manipulate certain groups in our community,” said Chiu. “The practice that they employ has definitely been improved and become far more sophisticated; you would not be able to find hard evidence that points in the direction to the regime itself.”
In addition, the Chinese Benevolent Association (CBA), which is also supportive of the Chinese regime, just hosted a luncheon for Liberal Josh Vander Vies, the candidate for Vancouver East (an area which includes Chinatown). The association has published ads in support of Hong Kong’s Beijing-imposed national security law, which criminalizes dissent against the communist regime.