March 29, 2023

In his new role as special rapporteur to investigate alleged foreign interference, David Johnston is likely to take a deep dive into the Don Valley north suburbs of Toronto.

Horseback riding becomes a link for China’s alleged intervention. It is represented federally by the Liberal Party and provincially by the Progressive Conservative Party, but what is surprising is their ties to a wealthy supermarket magnate with close ties to the Chinese consulate in Toronto.

Links exist between liberal MP Han Dong, PC MP Vincent Ke, and supermarket magnate Wei Chengui. Wei owns the Foody Mart grocery store chain, which has stores in Ontario and British Columbia. The two politicians frequently appear with the businessman at events covered by Chinese ethnic media.

But for Canadians who don’t speak Mandarin or Cantonese, the tangled web of relationships is only now being unraveled.


Four years ago, Wei attended a conference in Beijing for overseas Chinese business leaders. Media reports from May 2019 show a video of him shaking hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

A month later, Dong announced that he would enter the nomination race to become the Liberal candidate for Don Valley North in the Canadian federal election that fall. He started his campaign at Foody Mart’s headquarters in Riding. Wei stood next to him.

After Ke won his provincial seat in 2018, Wei was listed in the credits as a chief advisor in a documentary celebrating Ke’s victory. This feature was featured on the Chinese digital program 365 Net TV.

Wei is also Honorary Chairman of the Toronto Fuqing Canadian Business Association (CTFBA), which promotes ties with China. Its translated mission statement includes the goal of “unifying rural sentiment, pooling resources…and driving forward the spirit of unity.”

But one of the CTFBA affiliates is located at 220 Royal Crest Court in Markham, Ontario. The address matches the Chinese police station listed by Safeguard Defenders, a Spanish NGO that tracks disappearances in China.

Last November, the RCMP confirmed that it was investigating the office.


On its website, the Fuqing Association also states that it was established under “the specific direction of the United Front Work Department.”

According to the Government of Canada, UFWD is a branch of the Chinese Community Party. A 2021 Public Safety Canada document states that UFWD is being used to “suppress criticism, infiltrate foreign political parties, diaspora communities, universities, and multinational corporations.”

Tens of thousands of Chinese agents work for UFWD around the world to monitor the activities of its diaspora. More than 40,000 employees have been added to the UFWD since Xi came to power, according to intelligence experts.

Scott McGregor – former military intelligence officer and co-author Mosaic effect as the Chinese Communist Party launched a hybrid war in America’s backyard.

He says the United Front is working through a network of overseas Chinese associations to “gather intelligence and spread propaganda.” McGregor says money is being laundered through UFWD in some cases in order to achieve their goals.

“With transnational crime, this often happens in terms of funding so that they can carry out the operations that they run (for example), a protest with paid protesters against other activities that are ongoing. The money often comes from organized crime,” McGregor said.


Media scrutiny follows reports in The Globe and Mail and Global News of an orchestrated attempt by the Chinese government to get 11 Chinese-sympathetic candidates elected in 2019. Both news organizations cited Canadian intelligence sources.

After reviewing national security documents based on CSIS intelligence, Global News called Han Dong a “knowing affiliate” in Chinese meddling networks, and also claimed that a member of Vincent Ke’s office may have funneled money to Beijing candidates as “friendly” during the campaign. 2019 federal election.

Ke was also embroiled in controversy last spring when Ontario Liberals called on the provincial police commissioner to investigate breaches of trust by Ke or his office.

Documentation obtained by the provincial party showed that the Liberals named 15 “hidden shell companies” registered by Ke’s employees and their family members after his election in 2018. Some of the registered non-profit organizations had addresses corresponding to homes owned by Ke’s relatives. staff.

One organization received a $25,000 provincial grant to help older people stay healthy. OOP did not investigate.


Wei did not respond to multiple requests from CTV News for comment. The inquiries were made in phone calls and emails to the business association he belongs to and the supermarket he runs.

In a statement posted on his Twitter page, Dong said, “I strongly reject insinuations in media reports that I played a role in offshore interference in these processes and will vigorously defend myself.”

Ke called Global’s accusations “false and slanderous” but resigned from the PC caucus to sit as an independent at Queen’s Park.

“I don’t want to distract the government and divert attention from the good work Prime Minister Vordis is doing for the province of Ontario. Therefore, I am leaving the PC faction to devote time to clearing my name and presenting my identity.”

CTV News did not see the classified reports, but spoke to more than a dozen sources from the Chinese community in the Greater Toronto Area.

These sources include federal and provincial campaign managers, former candidates, ethnic media reporters and local activists. Some of them were interviewed by CSIS agents and named.


Dong and Ke are among a group of local, provincial and federal politicians who have been named by several CTV News sources as benefactors of China’s state support.

Sources told CTV that, at the behest of Chinese consular officials, middlemen paid for party membership and busloaded foreign students and senior citizens to vote for Ke’s nomination.

Similar incidents are alleged to have occurred during Dong’s federal nomination win.

Gloria Fung is a pro-democracy activist for the Hong Kong-Canada Link. She says Beijing has funded many candidates in several elections to put them in government at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.

“The money was distributed among the candidates through individual members of the United Front organization. Thus, each donated to an individual person, making sure that the amount did not exceed the maximum limit. But the funds came from the United Front, which in turn receives funding from the Chinese Embassy,” Fung said.

In the past few years, Fung has been threatened and harassed for protesting China’s restrictive laws in Hong Kong. She knows that investigating interference will be a difficult task.

“They won’t be stupid enough to leave a paper trail.”

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