Picture of Canadian and Chinese flags taken prior to the meeting with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and China's President Xi Jinping at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse on December 5, 2017, in Beijing. Picture taken December 5, 2017. Fred Dufour/Po
Reuters / POOL


  • China's former consul-general in Vancouver sought to elect pro-Beijing politicians in 2022
  • Chinese ex-CG Tong Xiaoling eyed a certain individual to run in the municipal elections
  • China's alleged interference in the Vancouver election helped defeat the anti-Beijing incumbent mayor

A Canadian intelligence report revealed how a Chinese consulate in Vancouver allegedly interfered in last year's municipal elections.

Citing a Canadian Security Intelligence Service report, The Globe and Mail said former Chinese consul-general Tong Xiaoling sought to elect Chinese-Canadian candidates in the October 2022 municipal election.

"With regards to the 2022 City of Vancouver mayoral election, CG Tong stated that they need to do all they could to increase the ethnic voting percentage. They needed to get all eligible voters to come out and elect a specific Chinese-Canadian candidate," according to the CSIS report.

"CG Tong indicated they needed someone within the Vancouver City Council," the Canadian intelligence report added.

CSIS said Tong was eyeing an unnamed individual she saw as a candidate for the municipal council and possibly for the provincial or federal level.

Canadian intelligence authorities said Tong "saw great promise" in the individual, hoping that they "could join a political party that had a long-term strategy regarding their policy towards the [People's Republic of China]."

The alleged Chinese interference led to the re-election defeat of former Vancouver mayor Kennedy Stewart to Ken Sim by a margin of nearly 37,000 votes.

According to Stewart, a CSIS regional director and one of the spy agency's China specialists briefed him in late May last year about foreign interference in municipal politics.

Canadian intelligence officials asked Stewart about the attacks against him by Tong and some Chinese-language media partially owned by Beijing.

Stewart said he had a rocky relationship with Tong due to his pro-democracy views, support for Taiwan's independence and opposition to China's human rights violations.

The former Vancouver mayor accused Tong of blatant interference in Canadian politics and should be expelled from the country.

"I mean, if it was in the U.S., you would get kicked out of the country for that," Stewart said.

However, Stewart refused to say he lost last year's mayoral election because of Beijing's alleged interference since his vote total has remained virtually unchanged since 2018.

Sim, Vancouver's current mayor and the son of Hong Kong immigrants, denied insinuations that China's alleged meddling buoyed his sweeping victory.

"I would be mad as hell," Sim told the New York Times when asked if he knew about alleged Chinese interference in his election.

In another Canadian intelligence report last November 2021, Tong reportedly discussed the defeat of a Conservative Party candidate in September's federal election.

The defeated Conservative member of the Canadian parliament, named by a national security source as Kenny Chiu, was called by Tong a "vocal detractor of the Chinese government."

Tong said Chiu's defeat "proved their strategy and tactics were good and contributed to achieving their goals."

The CSIS claimed that Tong's involvement in the Canadian political process was "consistent with efforts to cultivate relationships with municipal-level politicians" to help them pursue higher offices in the future.

The Canadian spy agency added that Tong's apparent interference is "consistent with PRC efforts" to put ethnic Chinese individuals in Western politics, noting that Beijing could easily influence and access them.

Last March, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed an independent special rapporteur to investigate alleged Chinese interference in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections.

Trudeau said the reports about alleged Beijing's interferences "strike us to our very core as Canadians," BBC News reported.

However, China continues to denounce Canada's accusations, calling them "purely baseless and defamatory."

A survey conducted by Angus Reid Institute revealed that 65% of Canadians believe that China attempted to meddle in recent federal elections.

Single family homes are seen against the skyline of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada September 30, 2020.
Single family homes are seen against the skyline of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada September 30, 2020. Reuters / Jennifer Gauthier