By Marc Lacroix
The RCMP made a shocking declaration in the Quebec media on March 9, when it announced that an investigation was underway into two “secret Chinese police stations” in the Montreal area. According to spokesperson sergeant Charles Poirier, the presumed police stations were responsible for a “climate of terror” in the local Chinese Canadian community.
The RCMP claimed that the stations were operating under the cover of two respected community groups – Chinese Family Services, founded in 1976, and the Sino-Quebec Center located in the South Shore. News reports mentioned that both groups were headed by Li Xixi, who is also a municipal councillor in the Greater Montreal suburb of Brossard.
The feds offered no specific proof to support their vague allegations of “intimidation” and “threats.” Nor did they provide specific examples of “Chinese police station” activities. The RCMP made sure to cover its back in the initial media release, by explaining that a successful operation can be measured by the “perturbation of malicious acts” even in the absence of criminal accusations.
In other words, the RCMP was to win coming and going. In the total absence of proof of criminal activities, the police can claim credit for preventively stopping them. This way, the RCMP ensures that its claims cannot be refuted, because the absence of proof becomes a sign of success of the “perturbation” operation.
And this is exactly how the saga has played out.
The media immediately jumped on board, splashing sensational headlines about “Chinese interference” across front pages, with no critical questioning of the RCMP’s allegations.
The Mayor of Brossard expressed “deep concern” about the possibility of China obtaining sensitive information through Councillor Li Xixi, since she is president of both organizations slandered by the RCMP. The media reported the mayor’s concerns with breathless solemnity. Imagine the danger for Canadians if the Chinese communist government should learn the details of contract tenders for recycling in Brossard! Or obtain the blueprints for the new basketball court being planned for the municipal park! Luckily, the RCMP is there to protect these vital interests.
Curiously, as of May 6 there has been no further information from the feds. No one has come forward to confirm the allegations. The two groups in question have offered to fully collaborate with the RCMP investigation and have not even received a call back.
On April 28, federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino claimed that the RCMP had indeed successfully shut down all “Chinese police stations” in Canada. The RCMP has still not explained the exact nature of these stations.
Regardless, the RCMP claimed victory on May 5, asserting that they had indeed successfully “perturbed” the illegal activities. No further details of what these activities may have been were offered. We are meant to believe that the operation was so efficient that the illegal activities simply disappeared without leaving a trace.
The farce would be laughable were it not for the devastating effects on the local Chinese Canadian community. Despite lack of proof and specific allegations, the two community groups saw their funding completely cut off by the Quebec government, resulting in a loss of vital services for vulnerable members of the community.
A climate fear is indeed present in Montreal’s Chinese community, and it is a direct result of the RCMP’s dirty tricks.
The same day the RCMP claimed total victory, members of the local Chinese Canadian community held a press conference, demanding that the RCMP provide answers. They were accompanied by Yuen Pau Woo, independent senator from British Colombia, who called on the RCMP to “provide information, clarity, and in the meantime, don’t create more problems for the community.”
Local immigration lawyer Walter Tom had harsh words for the RCMP’s tactics: “By associating, in such an irresponsible manner, these two [community] organizations with secret police stations, and particularly by flashing the names of these two organizations every time that there are headlines about secret police, they are creating an atmosphere of fear.”
The baseless allegations may fade from the headlines, as the lack of evidence becomes impossible to ignore, but irreparable damage has been done to the community. Not only have funding and services been cut, but the ambient Sinophobia has been reinforced. The RCMP dirty tricks are clearly the byproduct of US geopolitical efforts to rachet up the new Cold War against China. Demonizing the Chinese community in Canada makes it easier to get people on board with increased military spending and gearing up for war to counter the “Chinese threat.”
Racism and xenophobia against the Chinese community are nothing new in Canada. Now, they are being used to serve the ends of US imperialism.
[Photo: screenshot from video of demonstration against RCMP’s anti-Chinese campaign]