Deterrence by Denial: Protecting Chinese Diasporas and Canadian Federal Elections from Chinese Interference

DPH Working Paper

June 17, 2024

Foreign interference is a growing threat, and elections in democratic states are particularly at risk. China has been implicated in various covert political operations targeting the Chinese diaspora in Canada, using platforms such as WeChat and TikTok to influence federal elections. Chinese-owned telecommunication companies have been involved in espionage and intelligence collection regardless of where their platforms are based or operate. This working paper looks at misinformation tactics used to turn Chinese-Canadian voters against candidates who oppose the Chinese Communist Party. After assessing Canada’s strategy to counter Chinese interference, the author makes several recommendations based on the deterrence-by-denial theory — an approach that has proven effective in Australia, which has similar diaspora demographics to Canada.

About the Author

Ivan Nuñez Gamez is pursuing a political studies (honours) and economics degree at the University of Manitoba. An undergraduate fellow at the Digital Policy Hub, his research examined current strategies enacted by the federal government to counter technical foreign interference.