British Columbia

Majority of Chinese Canadians in B.C. agree with government on Meng Wanzhou case, poll suggests

A new poll suggests 54 per cent of B.C.'s Chinese Canadians agree with the federal government's decision not to intervene in the case.

New poll suggests 54 per cent of B.C.'s Chinese Canadians agree with federal decision not to intervene

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, right, is escorted by a member of her private security detail while arriving at a parole office in Vancouver on Dec. 12, 2018. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

A new poll suggests that a majority of Chinese Canadians in B.C. support the federal government's decision not to intervene in the Meng Wanzhou case.

The poll, commissioned by the Canada Committee 100 Society and conducted by Innovative Research Group, found 54 per cent of respondents agree with the government's action, while 15 per cent oppose it.

Meng is the chief financial officer for Chinese telecom giant Huawei who was detained at Vancouver International Airport on Dec. 1, 2018 at the behest of U.S. officials, enraging Chinese leaders and catapulting both countries into an ongoing diplomatic dispute.

Meng is out on bail but remains in Vancouver pending an extradition hearing, which will determine if she is to be deported to the United States to face charges of conspiracy and violating U.S. sanctions in Iran.

Vanessa Kong, centre, and Kenny Zhang, left, release their survey regarding Chinese-Canadian views on the Meng Wanzhou case in Richmond on Monday. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The Canadian government has cited rule of law as the reason it has not intervened. 

The poll shows that support for the government's decision holds across a number of subgroups, including respondents' period of immigration, mother tongue, and language of media consumption. 

Kenny Zhang, director of research for the Canada Committee 100 Society, said respondents with a higher degree of knowledge of the Canadian justice system and the Meng case showed stronger support for the government's decision.

"As such, providing education to Chinese Canadians about the Canadian justice system is critical to building a society that promotes the core values of Canada such as equality and justice," said Zhang.

The survey found there was stronger support among those over 35.

A staff member stands in front of a Huawei shop in Beijing in March. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

"The relatively low support among the younger generation and the Canadian-born Chinese [is] largely because they are more likely to be uncertain, not because they are more opposed to the government's position," said Vanessa Kong, research manager of Innovative Research Group.

The online study heard from 413 Chinese Canadians age 18 or older. The results were weighted by key categories to reflect the actual demographic composition of the Chinese-Canadian population in B.C.

The Canada Committee 100 Society was incorporated in January 2018. Incorporation records list three directors —  journalist and broadcaster Guo Ding, lawyer Lu Chan and realtor Zhou Zho.

The society's constitution says its goal is "to promote the best interests of Chinese-Canadian community and those of other ethnic groups in Canada, with a focus on the Chinese-Canadian community." 

Meng is scheduled to be back in B.C. Supreme Court on May 8.

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