Nova Scotia Journal

Saturday, December 2, 2023

China’s disinformation campaign against the Canadian election

Canadian election

Key Takeaways:

  • Taiwan and Hong Kong, on the other hand, bear the brunt of Beijing’s global assault on democracy.
  • It’s been more than 2 months since the federal election on September 20th, and the results are in.

Not the verdict that returned Justin Trudeau’s Liberals to power with fewer votes than Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives, but the expert consensus that a disinformation operation hatched in Beijing was active during the campaign, with a primary target of Chinese-Canadians.

It is difficult to say whether that operation was decisive in defeating or electing specific Members of Parliament. The answer may never be known, just as it is unclear whether the complex Kremlin-orchestrated disinformation and propaganda operation codenamed Project Lakhta played a decisive role in turning American voters against Hillary Clinton and handing Donald Trump his narrow electoral-college majority in 2016.

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However, the Canadian research group DisinfoWatch has spent time and effort analyzing the operation over the past few weeks and released its findings this week. “After analyzing available open-source data and consulting with key stakeholders. We believe that the timing and content of narratives indicate the likelihood of a coordinated influence operation targeting Chinese-Canadian voters.”

During the January 2020 Taiwanese elections, the operation bears a striking resemblance to “disinformation attack modes” identified by Taiwan’s leading disinformation-analysis lab, Doublethink. Private chat platforms and the Beijing-controlled social-media giant, WeChat, were the primary disinformation conduits used by Beijing in its efforts to sabotage the Taiwanese vote.

The Conservative party was the primary target of the operation in Canada, particularly popular Metro Vancouver MP Kenny Chiu, who lost the riding of Steveston—Richmond East to the Liberal candidate by 3,000 votes.

According to the Halifax analysis, the Chinese Communist Party “aims to make the world as a whole safe for authoritarianism.” “As a result, the PRC is determined to undermine democracy around the world.”  

While the CCP continues to target democracies such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, India, Japan, and Australia. It is Hong Kong and Taiwan that are at the forefront of the PRC’s global assault on democracy; their very existence as democracies is now in democracies .”

Source: national post

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