Sunday, February 18, 2024

Canadian Tribunal Rules to Deport Woman Over Ties to Chinese Foreign Interference Body

Canadian Tribunal Rules to Deport Woman Over Ties to Chinese Foreign Interference Body


A Canadian immigration tribunal has decided to deport a Chinese woman due to her work for a Beijing foreign interference agency. The ruling follows a 2022 federal court finding that exposed the agency’s involvement in espionage against Canada.

The Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) ruled that Jing Zhang had worked for the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office (OCAO). The OCAO is the external office of the United Front Work Department, an agency known for its involvement in foreign interference activities for the Chinese regime.

As first reported by Global News, the IRB did not accuse Ms. Zhang of committing espionage, but found that she had, during her 11-year employment at the OCAO, contributed to the communist regime’s efforts in transnational repression of overseas Chinese diaspora.

Ms. Zhang was employed by the OCAO in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province, from 2008 to 2019. Initially, she served as the director of public relations and later took on the role of director of overseas liaison, as stated by the IRB.

Ms. Zhang, who holds a law degree, denied being a member of OCAO, despite the IRB’s ruling that she was and that she had knowingly participated in its activities and supported its goals, as reported by Global News. She attributed allegations of her involvement with OCAO to errors in translation, and argued that Canadian authorities had issued her multiple visas without any issues.

Ms. Zhang could not be contacted for comment. The Epoch Times reached out to IRB for comment, but didn’t hear back by publication time.

Infiltrating Canadian Communities

During Ms. Zhang’s hearing, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said that the OCAO had infiltrated Chinese-Canadian communities with the aim of suppressing various ethnic and religious groups, including Falun Gong practitioners, Taiwanese, Uyghurs, and Canadian citizens of Chinese descent. Af
ter Decades of Shrugging Off Warnings, Canada’s Foreign Interference Inquiry Is About to Start
, after pressure from the Conservative Party of Canada.

The OCAO has “engaged in covert action and intelligence against them, manipulating them,” the CBSA stated.

Ms. Zhang travelled abroad for business purposes up to four times a year, engaging with “target groups” both within China and in the diaspora, according to the ruling.

“Her target populations included students, prominent individuals, government personnel and groups, and business persons,” it stated.

The IRB noted that Ms. Zhang’s actions and choice of target groups indicate that she was advancing the objectives of the OCAO, employing a tactic referred to as “qiaowu.” According to the IRB’s definition, qiaowu is a Marxist-Leninist strategy that exploits interpersonal relationships to counteract critics of the Communist Party.

The IRB’s decision on Ms. Zhang’s deportation was issued in August 2023, but was only recently made public. Her hearing was held virtually from Vancouver.

The CBSA declined to provide details of Ms. Zhang’s deportation status, citing the need to protect individual privacy.

“The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) does not provide comments or details on specific individual cases as an individual’s border and immigration information is considered private and protected by the Privacy Act,” CBSA spokesperson Karine Martel said in an email statement to The Epoch Times.


In a decision made in January 2022, a federal court concluded that the OCAO was engaged in espionage activities contrary to Canada’s interests. The IRB further affirmed this, stating in its ruling that the OCAO “was and remains involved in espionage against the PRC’s targeted individuals and groups in Canada.”

Another former OCAO employee, Yong Zhang, was deemed inadmissible to Canada in 2022.

In August 2015, the OCAO spearheaded the establishment of “overseas Chinese service centres,” which have the stated focus of providing community services to the Chinese diaspora. In 2016, two Quebec-based overseas Chinese community service centres entered into agreement with the OCAO.

These organizations, the Centre Sino-Québec de la Rive-Sud (CSQRS) and its sister organization in Montreal, the Service à la famille chinoise du Grand Montréal (SFCGM), became the focus of an RCMP investigation last year. Shortly after the police announced its probe, the RCMP said they’ve received over a dozen “serious tips” in relation to these organizations’ connection to alleged Chinese secret police stations in Canada.

A public inquiry, officially launched on Jan. 29, is set to investigate foreign interference in Canada’s 2019 and 2021 federal elections, primarily attributed to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In the past year, the CCP and its affiliated individuals and entities have been accused of intimidating and targeting Canadian politicians and citizens.

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