The Chinese Communist Party’s new, top envoy to British Columbia marked his first National Day of the People’s Republic of China in downtown Vancouver on Oct. 1 — the same day he also experienced his first human rights protest outside his Granville Street residence.
Shu Yang, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Vancouver, attended the “4th Chinese Culture and Arts Festival,” organized by the Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations (CACA) and its partner group Canada Sichuanese Friendship Association.
Shu arrived in Vancouver on Sept. 21, to replace longstanding consul general Tong Xiaoling, who, on behalf of China, oversaw the extradition trial of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou.
Yang’s open letter on the consul general’s website speaks to Vancouver being Canada’s gateway to Asia and B.C. being home to “a large number of overseas Chinese residents” and a destination for Chinese tourists.
Yang was joined on stage at the Vancouver Art Gallery by special guests, including Richmond city councillor Alexa Loo and CACA representatives Dian Qi Wang and Wei Renmin (director of Snow Goose Media) at the sparsely attended event, which saw delegates wave Canadian and Chinese flags. Oct. 1 is also the day China marks the anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s founding of the PRC.
CACA states online it is an umbrella organization for about 130 other groups who claim to be comprised of “mostly new immigrants from mainland China.”
CACA and its member groups are actively involved in local charitable work, but also politics.
Last February it publicly denounced critics of the Beijing Winter Olympics, stating the criticism was “due to reports of alleged but unproven human rights violations in China's Xinjiang region.”
CACA works closely on events with the consul general’s involvement. Its website also states it actively participates “in various activities of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office and the Chinese Overseas Chinese Federation,” two Beijing-controlled entities that fall under the CCP’s United Front Work Department — a foreign propaganda arm.
Last January, a federal court accepted evidence from Canada Border Services Agency that the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office was conducting espionage against Canadians whose interests may run contrary to those of China.
CACA has declined multiple attempts to speak to Glacier Media concerning the judgment.
Meanwhile, on Oct. 1, Yang’s residence was the site of another protest by human rights activists.
About two dozen people attended the residence, making political statements on human rights issues in Xinjiang (East Turkistan), Hong Kong and Tibet, in what was deemed “a united movement to resist the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s oppression.”
The event was coordinated by the Vancouver Uyghur Association, Friends of Canada and India Foundation, Global Pinoy Diaspora Canada, Students for a free Tibet, Vancouver Society of Freedom, Democracy and Human Rights for China and the Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement.