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Tape Reveals Embassy Footing Bill for Hu Jintao's Welcome Rally

June 24, 2010

By Jason Loftus
Epoch Times
June 23, 2010

Official tells students they must join; describes
event as "political struggle" against human rights advocates

Beginning today, expect to see throngs of
flag-waving Chinese on Parliament Hill and lining
the streets of Ottawa where Chinese leader Hu
Jintao will visit the next three days. According
to an official at the Chinese embassy in Ottawa,
staff there have been working late into the night
and spending lots of money to ensure Mr. Hu is
met with a crowd of passionate supporters, not
those protesting human rights abuses.

The Epoch Times has obtained a recording of a
speech given Friday by Mr. Liu Shaohua, the first
secretary of the education section at the Chinese
embassy in Ottawa, to a crowd of between 40 and
50 students receiving Chinese state-scholarships
to study there. Those students, Liu says, must
attend the welcome events for Hu.

In the recording, Mr. Liu says the embassy is
covering hotels, food, travel, and clothing for
what he estimates will be 3,000 people who will
welcome Mr. Hu Wednesday through Friday, coming
from as far away as Waterloo, Ont.

The expenses easily total in the hundreds of
thousands, based on Liu's comments. But Mr. Liu
describes it as "little money," in light of the
“political struggle” the Chinese regime is
waging, the goal being to overshadow human-rights
advocates who plan to protest during Hu's visit.

"Originally, we did not expect the situation to
be so complex," Liu said. "Falun Gong, Tibetan
separatists, Uyghur separatists, democracy people
have already moved onto Parliament Hill [...]
This is a battle that relates to defending the
reputation of our motherland. The embassy and
authorities inside China have a very high requirement.”

"These last few days, everyday, we have been busy
until 11 p.m. or midnight," Liu explained.

All Expenses Paid
Liu began his more than 15 minute address with a
name-by-name roll call, to which each student replied, "Yes."

"This time, for you, all the expenses will all be
paid by us," Liu said. "You do not talk about it
outside. Do not talk about it to anyone, except to people in this circle."

Liu said students who were not on state-sponsored
scholarships also had their expenses for the trip covered.

"For our country this is such little money. In my
view this is a struggle, a political struggle."

The "political struggle" Liu refers to appears to
be the presence of groups protesting human rights
abuses in China. Liu makes reference to Tibetan,
Uyghur, and democracy activists, but focuses
mainly on Falun Gong, a spiritual group
persecuted by the communist regime in China.

"We will take the east part of Parliament Hill,"
Liu says. "Falun Gong will take the west of the
square. We should have 3,000 people. In terms of
quantity, we should be able to surpass them.”

Liu says when Hu visited in 2005 and was met with
protesters, officials in China were furious. He
complained that during that visit, Canadian
authorities did not co-operate with Chinese
demands regarding the protesters, but this time
he says there were some limited guarantees.

"Some parts cannot be guaranteed because this
country is particular about so-called freedom. It
does not care. It says, 'we are a free country.'
So we are still negotiating. Falun Gong has already occupied three locations.”

According to several sources, including Chinese
students themselves as well as online notices on
bulletin boards, all Chinese students will be
provided with transportation, meals, and free
T-shirts. Some have said there have been promises
of $50 per day compensation as well.

Mr. Liu criticized those who talked about cash rewards.

"Some people said something on the Internet like,
'go to the Chinese embassy to get money' . . .
That's not good at all. Some people are inexperienced and didn't realize this."

Permission Required to Leave
But while students can choose whether or not to
attend, the students Liu addressed were on
state-paid scholarships and Liu said "there is no
excuse" for their failure to join.

"If you want to take leave [from the welcome
rally] for four hours or less, you can ask
teacher Yuan. But for longer time, such as for
one day, you must ask for leave from me."

The goal of the rally appears to be ensuring
protesters stay out of view for the visiting
Chinese leader, and that state-run media are able
to portray a warm welcome for Hu in coverage back home.

The large Pro-Beijing presence also sends a
message to Canadian leaders interested in
courting the ethnic vote that Chinese leaders are
admired in Canada's Chinese community.

Liu explained how students should answer if asked what they are doing.

"Just say, 'We are here to welcome President Hu.
Long live the Canada-China friendship.'"

Liu's speech appears to affirm comments by
Chinese student leaders contacted this week. The
Epoch Times reached Chinese student association
contacts at the Université du Québec in Hull and
Carleton University in Ottawa, each of whom
confirmed the activities were being paid for and
organized by the Chinese Embassy.

"The embassy is responsible for the overall
plan," offered Guo Daxu when he was contacted by
someone posing as a Chinese student. "Not only
for the Ottawa area, but also Montreal and
Toronto area’s students will all come. For those
[from Toronto] all of their meals and hotels will be paid for.”

E-mail Matches Liu's Speech

The same day that Liu was speaking with students
at the Ottawa embassy, his counterpart at the
Chinese Consulate in Toronto shared a similar
message with students via e-mail. The e-mail was
also obtained by The Epoch Times.

The message came from an address that appears on
the Toronto Chinese Consulate's website as the
contact for the education department. The e-mail
signature is that of Zhang Baojun, the Chinese consul for education.

Zhang told students on Chinese scholarships they
must participate and that everyone should "comply
with the plan and act in unity," at the events,
and that participants should not bring their children.

He said if any students on Chinese scholarships
have "exceptional difficulties that prevent them
from participating, they should ask for leave and provide an explanation."

The prospect of an expenses-paid trip to Ottawa
has proved attractive to some. A Chinese
immigrant in Montreal surnamed Wang told The
Epoch Times his son had been invited to join and decided to bring his family.

"Our son has enrolled," he explained. "All meals
and hotel are taken care of, and they also
provide transportation back and forth -- two days all expenses paid."

He said he asked who was organizing the trip.

"They said, 'You don't need to ask, just enroll and go.'"

Additional reporting by Matthew Little and Anna Yang
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