The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Canada’s public broadcaster, announced this week that it would close its offices in Beijing, China after the communist regime put constant obstacles and finally did not grant the necessary stay visas for its workers.
According to sources from the Canadian media, the decision was taken after two years of the company trying to renew the work visas of its journalists. Still, the regime’s officials ignored the requests.
CBC News editor-in-chief, Brodie Fenlon, said, “there is no point keeping an empty bureau when we could easily set up elsewhere in a different country that welcomes journalists and respects journalistic scrutiny.”
He then added that the wish was never to close the office but that the communist regime was forcing them to make that decision.
The decision follows numerous exchanges and requests for meetings with the Chinese Consulate in Montreal since October 2020 to obtain work visas and stay permits.
In April 2022, an attempt was made to contact by letter the Chinese Ambassador to Canada, Cong Peiwu, and while there was a prompt acknowledgment of receipt, a response was still needed.
The CBC office, located in one of Beijing’s high-security diplomatic compounds, remained open, awaiting staff turnover for months until this week.
Now, no one answers the knock on the door welcoming visitors to CBC’s Beijing offices, nor are calls being answered. They are opening a new chapter in the Chinese communist regime’s massive record of censorship.
Relations between the regime and Canada were not going well
The Chinese regime has been developing harsh policies in its international relations in general terms, but Canada, in particular, has been one of the countries with which it has had concrete conflicts, primarily because of its closeness to the United States in certain political and economic positions.
Ties between the two nations plummeted, especially after the Chinese regime, the United States, and Canada completed what was effectively a high-risk prisoner exchange over the past year.
The Chinese regime jailed two Canadians shortly after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies and daughter of the company’s founder, on a U.S. extradition request.
Many countries interpreted the regime’s attitude as “hostage politics” as they constantly used the figure of the Canadian prisoners as a bargaining chip.
The prisoners were finally sent back to their country in September, the same day that Meng returned to China after an agreement was reached with U.S. authorities.
But furthermore, the bad relations of the Chinese regime are wider than specific political issues with some governments such as Canada or the United States. Instead, it could be said that the regime’s bad relations are and were with all those who think differently, especially if they are journalists.
The Chinese regime; a censorship machine
The regime over time, has perfected its policy of propaganda and disinformation as a strategy to maintain and expand its power.
Currently, it is applying this method globally to protect its interests, promote its authoritarian model, and hide its human rights abuses within China.
The few international media that have persisted inside China, such as Canada’s CBC, have always been a nuisance to the regime. Although they have not always told the whole truth about what is happening under the repression of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), they have often managed to spread an idea of what is happening there.
Faced with this reality, the regime has always sought to get rid of opposition journalists and the entire media in the most “elegant” way and with the least possible impact.
Logically, in the case of Chinese media or journalists, it has always been easier for them since it is more difficult for international journalism to take notice.
But when it comes to international media, it has always been much more complex because the negative impact on a global level is of course, stronger.
In January, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) again labeled the Chinese communist regime as the world’s biggest jailer of journalists for the third year in a row.
The organization called 2021 “a particularly bleak year for press freedom advocates.”
CPJ expressed its concern over the increase in the number of journalists imprisoned over the past year around the world, although it singled out China as the country with the highest number of such prisoners.
Nor did it overlook the increasing persecution of journalists in formerly free Hong Kong or the disappearance of Chinese journalists who attempted to document the regime’s mishandling of the pandemic.
In particular, the report identifies a few isolated cases of public knowledge. In particular, the imprisonment of Jimmy Lai, founder of Hong Kong’s Apple Daily and avowed anti-communist; and Zhang Zhan, a citizen journalist who disappeared into Communist Party custody in 2020 after filming the disastrous handling of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, where the virus originated, in early 2020.
The “voluntary” departure of the CBC at some point will prove positive for the regime, as it has again managed to get rid of an international media outlet without using force or outright expulsion, which would make it much more shocking.