A group of protesters plans to voice their opposition to alleged Chinese-government linked “police stations” in Canada on Friday in Richmond.
A protest at the Wenzhou Friendship Society building in Richmond is being organized by the Hong Kong Defense Initiative, a Facebook group led by Andrew Wagner.
Wagner said he finds it disturbing that the Chinese government would set up a police station here in Canada to do surveillance and harass Chinese-Canadians.
“As a (Canadian) citizen, I think it’s weird to have foreign police stations in Canada,” Wagner told the News. As a dual Canadian-American, he likens it to the American government doing surveillance in Canada.
A Spanish human rights organization, Safeguard Defenders, reported late last year that it had received information about a Chinese police station in Vancouver.
They claim there are 102 such police stations set up in 54 countries around the world.
Wagner finds the CCP government’s rhetoric implies people of Chinese descent should be beholden to the Chinese government, and this raises questions about the sovereignty of Canadians.
This is why he wants to peacefully protest in front of the Wenzhou Friendship Society building on Hazelbridge Way on Friday afternoon.
Wagner will be wearing a Winnie the Pooh T-shirt at the protest, which is a symbol of standing up to the Chinese government.
About four years ago, the Chinese government banned a Winnie the Pooh film after a man who made a meme of the Chinese president that compared him to Winnie the Pooh.
Wagner noted there are people of different ethnic backgrounds coming to the protest, but he said people with a Hong Kong background might be hesitant to register on the Facebook page for fear of being identified by the CCP government.
Furthermore, his Hong Kong friends have said they’re “afraid” of the Wenzhou Friendship Centre building and find it “spooky and creepy.”
Wagner, who hosts a website for Alliance Canada-HK, said he’s seen two strange cyber-attacks on the website, which leads him to believe the Chinese government, through a third party, is harassing those involved with the group.
Concerning for Wagner is the Canadian police and government's apparent lack of resources to investigate foreign infiltration in Canada.
“It bothers me,” Wagner said. “We need more legal tools to deal with this.”
Ivy Li, who is a Hong Kong Canadian, said she’s pleased to see non-Asians standing up for the issue.
“Foreign infiltration is a national issue. It's not just a Chinese diaspora’s problem,” she said in an email to the News. “I am so glad that finally an ordinary Canadian citizen like Andrew, who’s non-Asian, is offended enough by the PRC’s silent invasion of our country’s sovereignty to step up and takes actions.”
The RCMP confirmed in December to Richmond city council that the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team was looking into an alleged Chinese “police station” in Richmond, although they didn’t specify the location nor any details.