On Thursday, March 9, 2023, the Canadian Police disclosed about their investigation regarding two centers in the Montreal area that were being used as state-sponsored police stations by China. These “police stations” are allegedly established to harass Canadians of Chinese origin.
In accordance with the statement given by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), legal actions are being taken to detect and impede such foreign state-backed illicit activities that pose a serious threat to the safety of Canadians. The investigation by the Canadian Police exacerbated the allegations made by Ottawa regarding the intervention of China in their internal affairs inclusive of the impeachment related to the last two elections in Ottawa being influenced by Beijing.
Chinese Police “Service Stations”
Following a report in September by a Europe-based human rights organization, Safeguard Defenders, countries like the Netherlands and the United States have initiated similar inquiries. The inquiries reflected a detailed residence of dozens of Chinese police “service stations” in prominent cities around the world. The RCMP also launched a probe into homogenous reports of Chinese “police service stations” in the Toronto area in November. In the past, the embassy of China in Ottawa claimed that there are centers outside China that are run by local volunteers and denied any connection between those centers and the police officers of China.
They further affirmed that the centers are built to guide Chinese citizens to renew documents and to facilitate them with other services that have been disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Quebec RCMP proclaimed about the agony endured by the Canadians of Chinese origin due to the illegitimate activities helmed by the two centers alleged to be the police stations run by Beijing, in Montreal and nearby Brossard.
Counter Measures By Canada
Michael Duheme, the deputy commissioner for federal policing at the RCMP, informed a parliamentary committee a week ago that ostensible actions had been taken by the agency that resulted in the suspension of operations at four alleged Chinese police stations. On Thursday, March 10, 2023, Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau told parliament that his government is cautious about the matter and would take sufficient actions in order to protect its citizens from any inadmissible act by the authoritarian regimes of rancorous.
Stress between Sino-Canadian Relations
The relations between the two nations started to deteriorate in 2018 when an executive of Huawei Technologies Co., a Chinese multinational technology corporation, was apprehended by the police in Canada. This was followed by the arrest of two Canadians who were accused of spying by Beijing. All three detainees were freed in 2021. The interference by China in the elections of Canada is the recent allegation that has soured the relations.
On Thursday, March 9, 2023, during the hearings of a parliamentary committee regarding the allegations of election interference by Beijing, Melanie Joly, Foreign Minister of Canada, told the committee about the denial of visa by Ottawas last fall when Beijing wanted to send a political operative. This disclosure was followed by the announcement by the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, regarding the appointment of an independent special investigator to investigate these allegations and a separate new inquiry into the suspected foreign intervention.