Well, I'll be. I had no idea...but you can see where this is going...
WARMINGTON: Communist Chinese troops observed military exercises on Canadian soil
The Department of National Defence has confirmed China’s People’s Liberation Army was indeed on Canadian soil in February of 2018 for the Canadian Armed Forces winter training exercises.
But DND insists they were there merely as observers.
“We do not train with the PLA,” a DND spokesperson told the Toronto Sun. “However, based on an agreement signed in 2013, there has been the occasional, reciprocal granting of observer-status for non-sensitive activities, including winter survival exercises.”
The Canada-China Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments Agreement
came into practice in 2014 when Stephen Harper was still prime minister
There doesn’t appear to be a reference to this agreement pertaining to the military in documents obtained by Rebel News and reported on by the Globe and Mail Thursday.
But those documents indicated Canada’s Global Affairs had concerns over diplomatic eggshells surrounding the cancelling of communist China’s 2019 winter exercises because of the detention of Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, who have now jailed in China for two years.
A series of reports and emails indicate a reluctance from Chief of Defence Staff General Jonathan Vance and Royal Canadian Air Force Major-General Derek Joyce to move forward with these joint endeavours.
Before the detention of the “Two Michaels” and Canada’s arrest of Huawei business executive Meng Wanzhou on charges brought by the United States, DND now acknowledges the 2018 version of winter exercises did have PLA uniform soldiers here as part an agreement between Canada and China.
“For instance, a Canadian Army delegation visited China in January 2018, while a PLA delegation visited Canada in February of that same year,” said the spokesperson.
The documents indicate the winter training was at CFB Petawawa.
“Yes to Petawawa,” said DND.
But DND states “there have been no reciprocal observer-status activities in 2019 or 2020.”
Although contacted, President Donald Trump’s White House said it did not have a comment as of Thursday. The NATO alliance, of which Canada is a member and China is not, has also not commented so far.
Meanwhile, it’s still unclear if observer status covers senior officers at the colonel or general level coming to participate in military educational programs to Canada as the documents indicate were scheduled.
“We will check but the digging required might take quite some time,” said DND. [I'm having flashbacks of searching for Somalia documents in my spare socks in my buttpack...]
Documents, which were not effectively redacted to cover up classified material, indicate Canadian Armed Forces’ engagements with the “Chinese People’s Liberation Army” in Canada were to include PLA members attending the Canadian Securities Program at CFC (Canadian Forces College) Toronto.
The document states “2 PLA members, typically at the Sr. Col, Col or LCol level” to be confirmed.
There are other similar courses in Kingston mentioned as well but one at this historic college in Toronto stood out since this has been a breeding ground for so many generals on their way up through the ranks.
A different document talks about a “Military Education Commanders Dialogue” involving a “1 star or 2 star level-led delegation” and another “CAF-PLA Defence Coordination Dialogue” involving a “2-star level-led delegation.”
DND has indicated guests who came in for this program are lodged at the “Holiday Inn Yorkdale 3450 Dufferin Street.”
It’s unclear if any guests from China checked in. But it is now clear, and on record, Chinese PLA troops were in CFB Petawawa.
Not a great source, I know, but according to Wiki the Canada-China Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments Agreement or Canada China FIPA
negotiations began in 1994 (Liberals under PM Chrétien), signed in 2012 and came into effect in 2014 (Conservatives under PM Harper).