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Former Director of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Department, Now Identified as a Spy Agency Official, Convened with Canadian Federal Ministers in 2018

The former head of a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) department responsible for engaging with foreign political parties met with multiple federal cabinet ministers and the national security adviser to the prime minister during a 2018 visit to Canada. This CCP department was recently designated an “intelligence service” by a German federal intelligence agency.

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The ILD, founded in 1951, was initially created to manage relations between the CCP and foreign communist parties, particularly with the Soviet Union and with communist parties within the socialist bloc. Often referred to as the CCP’s specialized foreign affairs department, it operates alongside the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The department later expanded its mission beyond building ties with other communist parties around the world, according to an October 2019 article published by Theory China, the CCP’s central research institute for Party history and literature.

The article said that the ILD was working to develop inter-party relations with “all political parties in the world that are willing to associate with the CCP,” and that the CCP had established and was maintaining relationships with over 500 political parties and organizations in more than 160 countries and regions worldwide.

The article also quoted Song Tao, ILD head from 2015 to 2022, emphasizing in a 2017 magazine article that the CCP’s foreign relationship efforts represent “an important battlefront” for the Party and also an important component of China’s broader diplomacy.

Canada Trip

During a visit to Toronto in January 2018, Mr. Song met with several federal cabinet ministers, including François-Philippe Champagne, who was then the minister of international trade. At the meeting, Mr. Song spoke of the “historic contributions” of the CCP’s 19th National Congress, according to a Chinese Embassy press release. The congress is a gathering for top Party officials that takes place every five years.

In response, Mr. Champagne expressed optimism about economic and trade cooperation between the two countries and reiterated Canada’s commitment to its relationship with China, the press release said.

The press releases indicated that Mr. Song presented Mr. Champagne, Ms Chagger, and Mr. DeCourcey with a copy of the book “Xi Jinping: The Governance of China,” a collection of dozens of speeches and directives that the Chinese leader has delivered since November 2012, when he assumed his leadership position.

The Epoch Times requested comments from Mr. Champagne, currently the federal minister of innovation, science and industry; Ms. Chagger, a Liberal MP who does not hold a cabinet position at this time; and Mr. Jean, now a senior fellow at the University of Ottawa. None provided a response by publication time. The Epoch Times also reached out to Mr. DeCourcey but has not received a reply.

Chinese Diplomat Denied Visa

Designation of the ILD as a spy service by the German intelligence agency in July came amid growing concerns in Canada in the past year over foreign interference activities by the Chinese regime on Canadian soil.

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