Politics

China swaying politicians with gifts, sex: MP

A Calgary Conservative MP is accusing Chinese authorities of attempting to buy the influence of Canadian politicians and government officials with financial incentives and prostitutes.

A Calgary Conservative MP is accusing Chinese authorities of attempting to buy the influence of Canadian politicians and government officials with financial incentives and prostitutes, suggesting some officials may have been compromised.

"I know politicians who have done things that I think are antithetical to their character and I know those politicians to have been offered things — whether they were lucrative business deals or sexual favours while they were over on foreign trips," Rob Anders told CBC's Power & Politics.

"Now can I give you the smoking gun to say that I definitely know there's a link between the two? Probably not. But can I tell you that I think these things go on and I think it's fairly obvious, yes."

Anders said MPs have told him how they had women follow them back to their rooms in Shanghai and offer them massages.

"I've had members of Parliament tell me about business deals they were offered that frankly were above market rates and that they should have known better, that were, you know, veiled attempts to create or curry favour and influence."

Anders said he wouldn't divulge names and that he didn't want to "engage in a witch hunt" against his colleagues.

Anders said he himself had been offered sexual favours while in China but that he turned them down. He said he didn't address his concerns with the Prime Minister's Office, but that officials have been briefed by the department of Foreign Affairs about the issue.

In an exclusive interview with CBC News on June 22, Canadian Security Intelligence Service director Richard Fadden said foreign governments hold influence over at least two cabinet ministers in two provinces, and are also involved with municipal politicians in B.C. and with federal public servants.

Fadden did not provide any names, but implied that China was one of those foreign governments.

But Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis, who has travelled to China numerous times, called the allegations "ludicrous."

"If Mr. Anders has any evidence, then he should take it and bring it forward to the ethics commissioner and do it now and stop paintbrushing the rest of the parliamentarians with the brush that certainly is not becoming of Canadian parliamentarians."

"To make statements like that, the man has really reached the bottom of the barrel," he said.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said he wasn't aware of the specific allegations made by Anders. But he said if those propositions are being made, Anders should bring the details forward to police and security agencies.

Toews added that it's not surprising that there are allegations that governments attempt to influence politicians.

"That has been a constant theme in newspaper articles for the last half century and probably before that. That's nothing new. It's how politicians respond to pressure or influence."

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