Conservative MP Michael Chong, who has faced attempted targeting by China—including efforts to gather information on his family in Hong Kong—will testify at a U.S. congressional hearing focused on China’s international pressure campaigns.
Role and Previous Stances
Representing the Ontario riding of Wellington-Halton, Chong is also the Conservative party’s foreign affairs critic. He has been vocal in his criticism of China and has advocated for the Canadian Parliament to adopt a resolution that describes the treatment of Uyghurs as genocide.
Chong’s Objectives at the Hearing
Chong told the National Post that Congress members are keen on “understanding and learning what’s happening in other democracies like Canada.” Chong aims to use his own experience as an example to “give voice to those who are voiceless who have been targeted by Beijing here.” He describes foreign interference as a “serious national threat” and emphasizes the importance of democratic nations cooperating to counter it.
Previous Incidents and Government Response
Earlier this year, it was revealed that attempts had been made to collect information about Chong and his family in Hong Kong. Chong has also reported receiving direct threats he believes originate from the Chinese government. In August, Global Affairs Canada identified a misinformation campaign against Chong on the social media app WeChat, particularly between May 4 and May 13, which coincided with byelection races in Canada.
Broader Context: China’s Global Campaign
A press release from the Congressional-Executive Commission on China highlights China’s ongoing efforts to “rewrite global norms” and to engage in “transnational repression,” targeting various diaspora communities worldwide, including Uyghurs, Hong Kongers, and Tibetans. The hearing at which Chong will appear, scheduled for September 12, aims to shed light on these activities.
Additional Insight from Human Rights Group
Freedom House considers China’s campaign of transnational oppression to be the world’s most sophisticated, according to the Congressional-Executive Commission on China’s 2022 annual report. The commission also notes China’s efforts to dominate various aspects of daily life, putting the country “at the vanguard of a global trend toward authoritarianism.”