A Chinese Activist and the Smear Campaign That Followed Her to Canada


One pattern that emerged was identity theft. Many of Sheng Xue’s adversaries told a strange story of someone posing as them online to spread more accusations against her.

Many experts, from academics to former intelligence officers and human rights campaigners, said it all reflected a Chinese Communist Party strategy of seeding and stirring division among the dissidents so they were in no position to present a real challenge to the party.

Predictably, the response to my story has been fierce and loud on Twitter, reflecting how fractious the overseas dissident community is. Many replies attacked Sheng Xue and the story, while some defended her.

It’s a debate transpiring almost entirely within the world of Chinese dissidents — a world most Canadians never enter, and one that the past year of reporting helped me begin to understand.


This week’s Trans Canada and Around The Times highlights were compiled by Canada correspondent Ian Austen.

—Whether it’s a turning point or not, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to expel Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott from the Liberal party was another major moment in the political turmoil surrounding his government.

—“How am I supposed to teach about respect, tolerance and diversity to my students, many of whom are immigrant kids, when the government is asking me to give up who I am?” Dan Bilefsky was asked by an elementary schoolteacher in Montreal who would have to remove her Muslim head scarf or stall her career under proposed Quebec law.

—In the week that the federal government imposed carbon taxes on provinces that refused to put their own systems in place, we looked at the 40 countries that apply some sort of cost to carbon emissions — and how much of an impact the programs are having.

—By day, Toronto native Matt Walker tickles tiny worms while peering at them through microscopes as a neurobiologist at Columbia University in New York. At night he appears in an Off Broadway production as Max, “a hapless actor who cannot stop mugging for the audience while performing in a dusty whodunit.”

—In The New York Times magazine, Jim Rutenberg and Jonathan Mahler carefully dissect how Rupert Murdoch and his family have used their global media empire to destabilize democracies in North America, Europe and Australia.

—”Game of Thrones” is now in its final season. But fans who travel to Northern Ireland can still visit the spot where Melisandre gave birth to the shadow monster.

—”Try cooking 1,400 lamb chops to a perfect medium-rare at the same time, using nothing but sheet pans, Sterno and an upright aluminum cabinet on wheels called a hot box.” That’s among the challenges that confronted two writers found when they went into the world of caterers as cooks.

—Is Patagonia really “leaving the bros out in the cold” by cutting off sales of branded fleece vests to the financial and tech firms where they have become standard business dress? Vanessa Friedman found the reality is a bit more complicated.

Source : Nytimes