Canadian overseas Chinese leader Chen Bingding's lawyer license suspended for speaking for Beijing Canadian overseas Chinese leader Chen Bingding's lawyer license suspended for speaking for Beijing

Canadian overseas Chinese leader Chen Bingding's lawyer license suspended for speaking for Beijing

Canadian overseas Chinese leader Chen Bingding's lawyer license suspended for speaking for Beijing

The Ontario Law Society has temporarily suspended the license of Chen Bingding, a leader of the Chinese community in Canada, pending the outcome of his trial on suspicion of embezzling client funds. Pro-democracy activists who have clashed with Chen over human rights and Chinese interference for decades say Chen is one of the most active voices in the Chinese community for Beijing, highlighting the importance of Canada's foreign agents registration law.

On the website of the Law Society of Ontario, it can be found that Chen Bingding's lawyer qualification has been suspended because he is suspected of embezzling more than 500,000 Canadian dollars (about 2.67 million yuan) from clients. Chen Bingding is 80 years old. Before the Law Society announced the suspension, Chen Bingding announced his retirement and terminated the law firm's business.

Because of this civil lawsuit, mainstream Canadian society has come to realize his long-standing close relationship with China. The National Post wrote an article describing him as one of Beijing's earliest and most important allies in Canada.

Guan Zhuozhong, chairman of the Toronto Chinese Democracy Movement Association, who is familiar with Chen Bingding's past, said that in 1979, a news feature on Canadian television station CTV clearly discriminated against Chinese people, which prompted the establishment of the Equal Rights Association. However, he did not expect that Chen Bingding, a lawyer, would agree with the Chinese Consulate at the time and hoped that the Chinese "would not cause trouble."

Chen Bingding then founded the Chinese Canadian Federation and the Chinese Canadian Alliance for the Promotion of China's Unification. As a "Chinese community leader", he spoke on behalf of the Chinese government many times. He was also an overseas representative of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. The education group he founded, Bond Education Group, helped train Chinese officials to understand Canada's operations.

Guan Zhuozhong recalled that in 2014, when the public opposed the establishment of the Confucius Institute in Toronto, Chen Bingding also gathered students to the scene to show their support (for the establishment of the Confucius Institute), and he was seen in the lobby of the School Bureau that year.

Chen Bingding also said in an interview with Phoenix.com that he helped the Chinese government successfully repatriate Lai Changxing, a fugitive who had been stranded in Canada for many years. When the case of Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Huawei, occurred, Chen Bingding also stood on the Chinese side and criticized the Canadian government's actions.

After then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in 2022, Chen Bingding held a cross-strait reunification forum and criticized Pelosi's behavior. "We firmly oppose Pelosi and her gang's actions to undermine cross-strait relations. China has a strong military force and is fully capable of blocking Taiwan and preventing foreign interference."

Chen Bingding has also repeatedly praised the Hong Kong government for implementing the National Security Law.

Guan Zhuozhong said that Chen Bingding is undoubtedly the spokesperson for the Chinese Communist Party in Canada. "In many ways, he speaks for the Chinese Communist Party. I would say that he is the best friend and the first agent of the Chinese Consulate General, and the spokesperson of the Chinese Communist Party."

He said that there are many Chinese Canadians who have a strong sense of "patriotism" like Chen Bingding. It is not that they cannot lobby for Beijing, but they need to be open and transparent. This is why the anti-foreign interference law just passed by the Canadian Senate and House of Representatives is so important. "Registration should at least have some warnings, that is, if you are a foreign agent, you must register."

As of press time, the reporter was unable to contact Chen Bingding for a response.

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