BC Liberals accepted money from Chinese government propaganda unit

By ThinkPol Staff

The BC Liberals accepted money from a media outlet producing propaganda for the Communist Party of China, days after the mouthpiece was exposed as being owned and operated by China’s government.

On November 2, 2015, an exposé by Reuters investigative journalists Koh Gui Qing and John Shiffman uncovered how Beijing’s state-run China Radio International secretly owns 60% of a US company, G&E Studio, whose content is also broadcast in Vancouver, BC[1]https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/china-radio/.

Just 18 days later, on November 20, 2015, the BC Liberals accepted a $5,000 donation from G&E Studio, Election BC’s Financial Reports and Political Contributions System shows[2]http://contributions.electionsbc.gov.bc.ca/pcs/SA1SearchResults.aspx?FilerSK=0&EDSK=0&FilerTypeSK=0&Contributor=G%5bAMP%5dE+studio&PartySK=5&elctrldstrct_sk=0&ED=(ALL)&FilerType=(ALL)&Filer=0&FilerName=(ALL)&Party=BC+Liberal+Party&event_name=(ALL)&class_sk=0&class_name=(ALL)&DateTo=&DateFrom=&DFYear=&DFMonth=&DFDay=&DTYear=&DTMonth=&DTDay=.

The BC Liberals accepted the donation despite warnings by US officials.

“I would make a serious inquiry under [Foreign Agents Registration Act] into a company rebroadcasting Chinese government propaganda inside the United States without revealing that it is acting on behalf of, or it’s owned or controlled by China,” D.E. “Ed” Wilson Jr., a former senior White House and Treasury Department official said about CRI and G&E.

Democracy advocates are also concerned by China’s efforts to influence and subvert western democracies using propaganda.

Providing testimony last year at a congressional Hearing on China’s Information Controls, Global Media Influence, and Cyber Warfare Strategy, Sarah Cook, Senior Research Analyst for East Asia at Freedom House, also spoke up about the threat posed by CRI and G&E studio[3]https://www.uscc.gov/sites/default/files/Sarah%20Cook%20May%204th%202017%20USCC%20testimony.pdf.

Cook warned that “Chinese Communist Party (CCP) information controls—in terms of both censorship and propaganda—extend beyond mainland China’s borders and influence the media landscape in the United States.”

“The CCP and various Chinese government entities, have long sought to influence public debate and media coverage about China in the United States, particularly among Chinese
language communities,” Cook testified. “However, over the past decade, these efforts have expanded and intensified.”

There’s growing unease about the Beijing’s growing influence in British Columbia.

Just last week British Columbia’s biggest retirement home chain, and prime real estate in downtown Vancouver, came under China’s government’s control.

The Government of Canada is currently scrutinizing a Chinese state-owned firm’s takeover of the Canadian infrastructure giant Aecon[4]https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-orders-national-security-review-of-aecon-sale-to-china-owned-construction-firm/article37937182/, which has been selected as preferred proponent for the controversial Site C project[5]http://www.aecon.com/Media_Room/~1412-Aecon-partnership-selected-as-preferred-proponent-for-Site-C-generating-station-and-spillways-civil-works-contract.

[Photo: BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visiting China, Credit: Province of BC]

References   [ + ]

1. https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/china-radio/
2. http://contributions.electionsbc.gov.bc.ca/pcs/SA1SearchResults.aspx?FilerSK=0&EDSK=0&FilerTypeSK=0&Contributor=G%5bAMP%5dE+studio&PartySK=5&elctrldstrct_sk=0&ED=(ALL)&FilerType=(ALL)&Filer=0&FilerName=(ALL)&Party=BC+Liberal+Party&event_name=(ALL)&class_sk=0&class_name=(ALL)&DateTo=&DateFrom=&DFYear=&DFMonth=&DFDay=&DTYear=&DTMonth=&DTDay=
3. https://www.uscc.gov/sites/default/files/Sarah%20Cook%20May%204th%202017%20USCC%20testimony.pdf
4. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-orders-national-security-review-of-aecon-sale-to-china-owned-construction-firm/article37937182/
5. http://www.aecon.com/Media_Room/~1412-Aecon-partnership-selected-as-preferred-proponent-for-Site-C-generating-station-and-spillways-civil-works-contract