Rebuttal to CACA in defence of Global News and Canadian press freedom

Updated: Nov 8, 2020

The United Front Work Department (UFWD) is a political warfare arm of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP); Leninist scientific theory—weaponised contradiction, conflict and misunderstanding—which guides UFWD work is neatly explained in pp. 16-23 of Hidden Hand: Exposing How the Chinese Communist Party is Reshaping the World.

Critically, Hidden Hand also makes clear the separate role united front (UF) groups—guided by the UFWD—serve around the world as extensions of the CCP. This and the strategic importance of “misunderstanding” is explained below; for now, we borrow from Hidden Hand: “In Mao’s terminology, misunderstandings are a conflict among the people.”

Vancouver-based Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations (CACA) is a UF group—to be precise, CACA is an umbrella group that coordinates UF groups across Canada in various actions that, primarily or otherwise, serve the interests of the CCP.

Many Canadians first learned of CACA’s existence earlier this year when, in its own words, in late January it mobilised its network over two weeks to scour Vancouver of all available PPE which was then sent to the People’s Liberation Army and other arms of the CCP.

We know this because new CACA chairman Wei Renmin (魏仁民) boasted to a CCP website in mid-February about how thorough the PPE hunt was in Vancouver.

A photo from the time shows Wei working closely with Hu Qiquan (胡启全)—best described as the political warfare team lead in the PRC’s Vancouver consulate—as well as outgoing CACA chairman Yongtao Chen (陈永涛), about whom so very much has and should be written.

CACA drew some attention in April 2020 when it demanded an apology for Sam Cooper’s exhaustive documentation of their key role in the PPE raid; whining and offensive claims of racism fell on deaf ears as Canada suffered through a pandemic exacerbated as a direct result of CACA’s “work”.

Note that CACA bases its defence on the perfunctory praise it receives in return for strategic donations—reputation laundering at its finest, we’ll grant CACA that much.

Last week, CACA issued another statement attacking Sam Cooper and Global News—which it didn’t bother to translate into English—at a press conference in which it emerged legal action was considered in April but ultimately dropped because CACA “other things happened.” That is quite the admission.

Legal action is now threatened again, this time in response to something that doesn’t exist—Sam Cooper of Global News knows the difference between the UFWD and the UF groups it oversees, and he uses those terms correctly.

CACA, however, does not—a strategic “misunderstanding”—by way of its own Chinese wording in the new press release. Instead, CACA first accuses itself of belonging to the UFWD (统战部) bureaucracy, and then denies as much.

That CACA alone is the precise source of this particular accusation will be relevant in any future court proceedings.

An equivalent would be to call Edward Snowden a bureaucrat in the FSB.

One wonders why such a deliberate misunderstanding of terms was used in the CACA press release. One assumes Sam Cooper, as opposed to other Canadian journalists who also report accurately on Canadian UF groups, is being targeted with legal threats because of his work exposing criminal networks in Canada—and their overlap with UF groups.

Back to last week’s CACA press conference: tellingly, it’s opened by Lisa Wu (吴瑾), emcee for countless past Vancouver UF group events and reporter for Phoenix TV—which as you likely know is linked to the CCP’s People’s Liberation Army. Wu briefly hits home the key message: CACA represents all ethnic Chinese people and lobbies the Canadian government in that capacity.

The heavily edited video jumps to CACA executive Han Changfu (韩长福), who opens with CCP propaganda dogwhistle terms like 团结 (unity) and 兴邦 (national rejuvenation) that CACA also uses on its About page—where CACA openly boasts of its close partnership with the UFWD over the years; this is in plain sight for everyone who can read Chinese.

Yes there is a contradiction between Han’s denial above and the CACA’s own claims to work closely with the UFWD—however to point this out is to fall victim to a misunderstanding.

Later Han also talks of positive energy (正能量), a key CCP propaganda buzzword that assumes everyone agrees with the CCP.

The meat of Han’s statement then is to rattle off a list of all the times his group has rained huge amounts of money down on government facilities and community groups since CACA was founded in 2008. If Canada had laws against foreign interference, these “donations” would be ripe material for a team of forensic accountants.

Because volumes of information from multiple sources demonstrates CACA’s connection to the UFWD, Han has no choice but to try and play the victim of supposedly unfair criticism; at 2:50 in the press conference, Han cynically complains that all the money CACA has dumped on British Columbia has not won CACA unconditional support.

Here, Han conveniently neglects to mention fentanyl cash laundering king and Vancouver UF scene regular Paul King Jin (贾世宝) personally donated $20,000 to CACA’s early 2020 effort to empty British Columbia of PPE.

Han was also front and centre at the now-infamous launch of Jin’s MMA gym with Yuan "Tiger" Rongxiang (原荣祥) and other business partners.

All reasons Han Changfu is a good representative for CACA, so to speak.

Discrediting Han is easy (and if Canada's laws were suited for the CCP’s New Cold War, much of this would be criminal evidence): just this past summer, Han personally wrote propaganda for the CCP's UFWD political warfare effort about various efforts to infiltrate and subvert Canada (you were saying, Han...?).

Deferring to the CACA website, Han’s organisation has been the UFWD’s local partner for the annual Cultures of China, Festival of Spring (文化中国·四海同春) stage performance which the UFWD has taken where it can since 2009.

In years when other Vancouver UF groups such as the Chinese Benevolent Association were the host and UFWD partner, Han was still involved.

Similar to how Han alone refers to CACA as the UFWD so that he could refute a bizarre accusation and in doing so try and look reasonable, in last week’s press conference Han repeatedly misrepresents the nature of Sam Cooper’s investigations into organised crime and CCP networks, and instead insists Sam is biased against and defaming ALL ethnic Chinese Canadians. Another strategic misunderstanding.

See our translation below of a Sing Tao interview this past week with Wei and other CACA leaders.

CCP talking points follow from Han’s brand of ethnic essentialism, and we hope our readers are informed enough as to recognise and disregard such efforts. Han really wants you to agree with him, and support his call that Global News delete its investigative reports and apologise.

As with all good UF figures, Han is involved with CCP proxy groups that organise here to build support for a CCP invasion of Taiwan. Han as it happens has gone well above and beyond—in 2016 he personally hosted a meeting in Vancouver that brought together UFWD officials visiting with China along with their counterparts from the China Overseas Friendship Association, and Vancouver’s top UF figures.

We could go on and on—Han Changfu is dishonest and we can’t take such claims of racism seriously, nor should we as his MO is now clear.

CACA executive Li Peng (李鹏) then takes over, expanding in English on Han’s earlier premise that respect for the CACA should be a function of how much money it has dumped on strategically selected causes—with the expectation we play along with the fiction this is all free of politics.

The methodology Li lays out closely resembles the strategy the CCP used to build up its presence in Hong Kong to set the groundwork for the national security takeover last year: take these gratuities in exchange for your ongoing support and a lovely photo op we will use in place of actual explanation of our close involvement with the Chinese Communist Party’s political warfare effort. In Li’s fiction, any criticism of CACA’s generosity must be the result of a misunderstanding.

Notably, Li mentions CACA’s role in leading the “Voting promotion in 2018" campaign—this (huaren canzheng) is a highly radioactive poliwar campaign the CCP has been rolling out in recent years, cynically targeting the "multicultural" weak spots of Canadians and others around the world.

To quote Lizzo, I've been waiting for this one—Ma Zaixin (马在新) appears next, opening with the well-known CCP trick of conflating legitimate criticism with an attack on all ethnic Chinese people. Ma absolutely fails to explain which part of Sam Cooper’s reporting is unfair to all ethnic Chinese Canadians, an oversight we appreciate.

Next Ma reveals that earlier this year CACA took its complaint over Cooper to all three levels of government and received no response. Here he also admits CACA did seek legal advice, but gave up because "other things" happened.

Ignoring absolutely everything that has been published about the connection past CACA leaders David Teng (滕达), Miaofei Pan (潘妙飞), Wang Dianqi (王典奇) and Yongtao Chen—not to mention the UF groups that comprise CACA’s membership—have had with the UFWD, Ma insists not a single piece of evidence exists. Ma flimsily asserts CACA member involvement with organised crime and the UFWD is not CACA’s problem, then he tells Sam Cooper to “shut up”, repeating it in Chinese for good effect.

We could not be more delighted Ma Zaixin stepped up to represent CACA. Going back to late 2014, Ma was a founding member of the International New Media Cooperation Organization (INMCO) that brought local pro-CCP media together in an attempt to craft a narrative suitable for the CCP’s overseas propaganda and political warfare purposes: positive energy, the correct version of news concerning China, and of course Xi Jinping Thought.

To launch and lead the new INMCO, ex-Ministry of State Security officer Yang Hengjun brought Ma and several others from Vancouver to Beijing for the event. In January 2019 we saw Yang detained by his former employer, and in October 2020 formally charged with espionage.

Another founding executive member of the INMCO is Vancouverite and World Chinese Weekly publisher Zhang Hui (张辉). At the time of INMCO’s founding, Yang worked closely with and for Zhang, who in late 2018 was also detained by national security officials in China, only allowed to return to Canada several months later.

Another INMCO founding executive member is Liu Cheng (刘成), publisher of Japan-based Chunichi Shinpou newspaper and founder of then Burnaby-based pro-CCP group Overseas Chinese-language Media Association (海外华文传媒协会). In 2018 Liu was also detained by China’s Ministry of State Security, allowed to return to Tokyo only a year later. Conclude from this what you will.

Among other Canadians at the INMCO launch was Edward Ye (叶洪涛), made executive vice-chairman of INMCO years before many of us grew to know him through his brazen UF work in Vancouver.

Now-defunct INMCO aside, Ma Zaixin’s other notable achievements include joining other CACA leaders to greet UFWD leader Qiu Yuanping at YVR airport in February 2014 then throwing her a large, swanky banquet as part of Qiu’s North American political warfare

work trip on which she made S.U.C.C.E.S.S. one of three UFWD official outposts in Canada, attending the annual forum in Vancouver through which UF groups build support for a future CCP invasion of Taiwan and running propaganda work for the huge UFWD conference held in downtown Vancouver in May 2018.

Back in 2015, Ma outlined his hybrid political warfare strategy—an important reference document for all concerned.

Today, Ma insists he cannot be judged by the company he keeps, no matter how entwined, criminal or contrived those circumstances are. So we should just move on.

Closing out the press conference is new CACA chairman Wei Renmin (魏仁民).

Wei stays faithful to his CACA predecessors David Teng, Yuan Zheng Chu (褚远征), Miaofei Pan, Wang Dianqi and Chen Yongtao with the now-familiar CCP political warfare line that Canada was settled by Chinese folk more than 150 years ago.

Wei says this historical fact drives some of CACA’s most important work, then effectively suggests Wei and his CACA fellow travellers, which in their world includes all ethnic Chinese Canadians, have a valid sovereign claim to Canadian soil—British Columbia is at least where their claim ends for now.

Do you see the trick? To object to this political warfare through propaganda is either racist or a misunderstanding—CACA claims both.

In his response to Global News investigations into CACA connections to organised crime throughout Canada, instead of addressing the substance of those reports, Wei attacks the news outlet, dismissing it as the work of a small number of people attacking all ethnic Chinese Canadians.

“What have we done wrong?” Wei first retorts, then adds: “our mistake is we all come from the same place.” Naturally there is not a word or phrase in Sam Cooper’s reporting on CACA that could be used to qualify this accusation of racism—what then is CACA without these strawmen? Working methodically like QAnon, CACA and its affiliates have been pushing this sovereignty claim for years and it warrants being taken seriously.

In the real world, although Wei became CACA’s public face in October 2020, many of us are familiar with his work as far back as 2016—Wei was in the room when this notorious photo was taken; he stands on Trudeau’s right as the PM shakes hand with Wei’s CACA predecessor Miaofei Pan.

As mentioned above, according to Ma Zaixin’s Dawa Business News Wei worked with PRC consulate staff in CACA’s January 2020 efforts to scoop up all available PPE in Vancouver.

Going back to autumn 2016, with CACA as the lead organiser and Lisa Wu as emcee, Wei was front and centre as the PRC flag was raised over Vancouver City Hall as various Canadian politicians watched on with some dressed in CCP garb; then CACA chairman Wang Dianqi would later go on to describe this stunt as one his more important achievements.

CACA even held a swanky gala at the time to mark the occasion.

That same year, Wei and other CACA regulars personally hosted a UFWD team visiting from Fujian province, and a CACA event around the same time boasted of receiving congratulations from the UFWD as hundreds of thousands of dollars passed hands in front of Canadian MPs and other politicians—Wei Renmin and Wang Dianqi gave CACA $30,000 and $100,000 respectively.

Notably, PRC consul general Tong Xiaoling personally brought CACA another UFWD greeting at a similar event two years later.

We can even go back to 2004, when Wei’s predecessor at a related UF group went all the way to Sichuan province for a meeting with local UFWD leader Zhou Minqian (周敏谦).

We could go on!

But for now:

When CACA attacks Global News, they attack all credible and trusted media outlets—the collective cornerstone of our democracy that has been weakened in recent years, and severely lacks capacity (we can’t fucking emphasise this point enough) to report on the highly complex CCP political warfare efforts eroding trust in this and other Canadian institutions.

Speak up for Global News before it becomes the new Nortel.

CACA denies being a UFWD group, emphasises contributions to Canada Sing Tao Daily 26 October 2020

Former chairman of the Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations, Yongtao Chen, is said to have a close relationship to Wei Wei, the suspect in a case involving an illegal casino in an Ontario mansion, and the CACA is said to have connections with China's United Front Work Department. Chen himself did not reply by time of publishing, but new CACA chairman Wei Renmin emphasises, CACA is not a Chinese United Front Work Department organisation, but is an organisation devoted to contributing to Canada, this will be proven to Canadian society under his leadership through action.

Wei Renmin was elected CACA chairman just last week, and he told Sing Tao Daily that although he is not familiar with outgoing chairman Yongtao Chen, he believes all past CACA chairmen did their best to lead CACA to give back to society. CACA members are all first-generation immigrants, and of course have deep ties to their mother country, but love Canada similarly after immigrating to Canada. "There is no conflict between our love for the mother country and for Canada, and during my tenure I will 100% focus on making contributions to Canadian society, I believe Canadian society will see our sincerity. My two grandsons were both born in Canada, myself and the next generation will all be buried in Canada, our feelings for Canada are not in question." [Sing Tao emphasis]

Another CACA member who wished to remain anonymous told Sing Tao that some English-language media have deliberately exaggerated and distorted some things, only to win attention, this is completely incorrect. English-language media say CACA is a Chinese United Front Work Department organisation, which is truly absurd, CACA is collectively made up of hundreds of community groups, comprising thousands of members, although everyone comes from China, we're not necessarily all pro-Chinese Communist Party, there are also many who criticise the Chinese regime. Just because CACA invites the Chinese consulate to participate in events, we've been declared China's United Front Work Department, here especially to infiltrate and interfere with Canadian society, it truly is "slander".

This CACA member feels some English-language media have a biased position, for example in mid-January, Global News previously reported that the Chinese government has quietly called on all ethnic Chinese they control around the world, urging them to buy large volumes of N95 masks to be sent back to China. "But in fact Chinese immigrants buying and sending masks back to China was completely spontaneous behaviour, at the time the pandemic still hadn't reached Canada, and everyone was worried about their friends and families back home, buying masks to send to China was human nature, and yet it was vilified. Later the pandemic worsened in Canada, and CACA made many donations or gave medical supplies to local hospitals and other organisations that needed it, Global News was even told this information but they never published it."

This member says some new immigrants from China don't understand the way Canadian society works, so it's easy for outsiders to misunderstand the way things work, but he also hopes certain people with ulterior motives will stop tarring ethnic Chinese. [sic]

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