LILLEY: Chinese Communist Party paper trolls Michael Kovrig’s return to Twitter

Article content

China’s Communist Party isn’t done trying to intimidate former hostage Michael Kovrig and by extension all of Canada. On Friday, a top executive at a state-run newspaper snapped at Kovrig over his first tweet since getting his freedom back two weeks ago.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

Kovrig did write a single word in his tweet, rather he posted a simple graphic of a paper dove flying out of a cage. The image, Kovrig’s first tweet in three years, was greeted with expressions of support from Canadians across the political spectrum.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

There were also a few troll accounts from China taunting him and one pointed message posted in English from a Chinese media executive.

Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief for the Global Times newspaper – a mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party – was behind that tweet.

“Enjoy your freedom, but don’t insult dove of peace please,” Hu tweeted.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

I’d say that Hu shouldn’t insult Kovrig, or Canadians coast to coast, considering he’s nothing more than a parrot for the dictators in Beijing.

Global Times is the newspaper that had claimed Kovrig and fellow hostage Michael Spavor were being held due to serious charges rather than political ones. The paper maintained that their trials were under the rule of law, a laughable claim for anyone who has looked into the Chinese justice system.

This newspaper, part of the People’s Daily group of newspapers, was also the publication given the “exclusive” when the two men were released.

“Exclusive: Two Canadians confess guilt, granted bail for medical reasons before leaving China: source” said their September 26 story.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

The newspaper’s story reads like a press release issued by the foreign ministry in Beijing and refers to the Trudeau government as a “lapdog” for Washington. This is the same newspaper that warned Canadians against voting for Erin O’Toole and the Conservatives because doing so would worsen relations with Beijing.

The Global Times, like the People’s Daily, is seen as an official newspaper of the Chinese government and regarded as a propaganda publication.

Since the release of Kovrig and Spavor, China’s embassy in Canada has taken a softer tone. Where once the ambassador issued regular warnings and chastised Canadian media critical of his kidnapping government, now most communications are supportive of improving the bilateral relationship.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

A recent series of tweets from the embassy’s account detailed increasing trade, specifically increased Canadian exports to China, while another highlighted the size and strength of the Chinese-Canadian community. An op-ed published in Vancouver Business by Ambassador Cong Peiwu stated that China is prepared to lead the world out of the pandemic and towards prosperity.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

All of these positive comments need to be taken with a grain of salt while Hu’s comments should be remembered. China remains ready and willing to kidnap Canadians, or any other foreign national on their soil, if they don’t get their way.

The Chinese government wants to use the end of the Meng/Michaels saga to bring about a changed and improved relationship with Ottawa. Improved relations with China would be a good thing for both countries but not while Beijing continues to believe that hostage diplomacy is a legitimate tool for them to use.

Until Canadians in China are no longer under threat, Ottawa should remain wary of Beijing.

    Advertisement

    Story continues below

    Comments

    Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

    Share:

    Share on facebook
    Facebook
    Share on twitter
    Twitter
    Share on pinterest
    Pinterest
    Share on linkedin
    LinkedIn
    On Key

    Related Posts

    On AIR

    Russtrat world

    Erdogan’s Syrian Trap

    MOSCOW, 24 Oct 2021, RUSSTRAT Institute. The Anadolu news agency circulated a tough statement made by President Erdogan about Turkey’s readiness to “use heavy weapons

    Drone attack on Uncle Sam

    MOSCOW, 23 Oct 2021, RUSSTRAT Institute. As CNN reported, citing sources in the Pentagon, an attack was carried out on a US army military base