Thu, 02 Feb 2023

Beijing [China], December 1 (ANI): Canada is reeling over Beijing's alleged spying and foreign interference in Canadian elections.

The tensions between the two countries came to a head in a heated exchange between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau at the G20 Summit in Bali.

Canada has accused China of targeting Canadian institutions and democracy.

"This is a really unprecedented situation from the Chinese side. So, I would rather look trim regarding the future but I think we must expect such kind of statements", said Dr Siegfried Wolf, an expert in international affairs.

A recent report by the Canadian network, Global Television, alleged that China covertly funded at least 11 federal candidates in the 2019 Canadian general elections.

"Beijing's alleged interference not only created a storm in the Canadian Parliament but has also created an increasingly hostile rift between Beijing and Ottawa.

China, under President Xi Jinping's leadership, has been accused of meddling in the affairs of foreign countries across the world.

According to the American Think-tank, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), China also appears to be increasingly interfering in US elections through intensive lobbying, control of foreign media outlets, and sophisticated disinformation campaigns.

A report filed to the Justice Department under the US Foreign Agents Registration Act (FERA), indicates that China has spent USD 280 million USD over the last six years to influence US politics, more than any other foreign country.

Beijing has spent years developing strategies to influence politics and elections throughout the Pacific Rim and the trend seems to be growing.

In Australia, for example, Beijing-linked donors directly paid prominent politicians in an attempt to steer Australian foreign policy more favourably toward China.

China has also supported pro-Beijing businessmen and women to take over control of the majority of local Chinese-language media in New Zealand, Taiwan, and parts of Southeast Asia (Source: CFR)"China has a policy called grey-zone warfare in which information and disinformation are a key and important part and this is played around the world", said, Anil Trigunayat, the former Indian diplomat.

Many South-Asian countries have also fallen victim to China's debt-trap diplomacy.

Beijing's interference in domestic politics in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal, among others, has been increasing.

In the recently held elections in Nepal, the Chinese Communist Party worked hard at unifying and supporting the Nepal Communist Party.

The CCP aims to ensure that the Nepali government will support China on top issues of Chinese concern, such as Taiwan and Tibet. Beijing also seeks a clear commitment to Nepali participation in its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

China remains a significant threat to democracy throughout the world. If allowed to go unchecked, there is no telling which lengths an expansionist Beijing will go to in order to promote Chinese interests. (ANI)

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