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On Monday, the Canadian government published a database detailing the various companies that received government financial support under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program, with several companies owned by the Chinese government being among the recipients, and one of them having connections to the ongoing genocide of Uyghur Muslims in the northwestern region of China.
Under the program, any company which has a payroll account registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and has experienced a drop in revenue can apply to have up to 75% of their employee's wages subsidized by the government. Since the companies do not need to be based in Canada so long as they operate in the country, multiple foreign companies, including a number owned by the Chinese government, were able to receive subsidies under the program.
Air China, a subsidiary of the state-owned China National Aviation Holdings, received wage subsidies. Air China experienced a substantial revenue drop in the first half of 2020, making them eligible for the CEWS. Air China also collaborates with Huawei. Another Chinese state-owned airline, China Southern Airlines, received subsidies under the program.
Another major company which received subsidies under the program is a Toronto branch of the Bank of China. The Bank of China has a long history of scandal, including being accused of funneling cash from countries such as Iran and Syria to terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, both of which are recognized as terrorist organizations by the Canadian government.
Earlier this year, the Bank of China settled a money laundering probe for $4 million. It was also revealed earlier this year that Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne held two mortgages collectively valued at $1.2 million with the Bank of China, raising questions surrounding the minister's potential conflicts of interest.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, another state-owned Chinese bank, which has been connected to money laundering, received CEWS support. Four employees of the company recently received prison sentences and fines of $25.55 million in Spain for their role in a money laundering scheme.
China Mobile received wage subsidies under the program and, according to the US government, has links to the People's Liberation Army (PLA), China's military. Last month, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning Americans from investing in companies with links to the PLA, with China Mobile being one of the companies on the list. In Canada, however, such a company is apparently applicable for state subsidies.
China Mobile has also reportedly invested in a company called Dahua, which provides surveillance technology for the Chinese government to use against their Uyghur Muslim minority, which the Chinese government is currently committing a genocide against. They received financial support from the Canadian government despite a report from the Liberal-dominated Parliamentary Subcommittee on International Human Rights calling upon the government of Canada to "take the necessary steps and conduct a review to ensure Canadian individuals, companies and public bodies are not investing in technology companies involved in supporting or facilitating the abuse of fundamental human rights in China."
A final company to receive financial support from the CEWS program is Petrochina which, despite the Trudeau government's supposed commitment to curbing climate change, is responsible for nearly 1% of all greenhouse gas emissions emitted globally over the past 270 years even though the company was only founded in 1999.
The revelations comes not long after it was revealed that the Canadian government invited the Chinese military to train on Canadian soil, a training exercise which was cancelled after the Chinese government kidnapped and arbitrarily detained two Canadian citizens.