By Found in Translation
April 3, 2023
Canadian Senator Victor Oh (胡子修) and Ontario former MPP and current deputy-mayor of Markham Michael Chan (陈国治) signed their names in a letter to a Chinese local government, pledging their continued support to the “great motherland”, according to a Chinese-language website in Canada.
As reported by CCmedia.news, the letter was written on April 10, 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic as a reply to a sympathy letter (‘sympathy letter’) from two governmental officials in P.R. China’s Jiangsu Province (江苏省) two weeks earlier (on March 27, 2020).
The reply letter (‘reply letter’) was written on behalf of all the members of the Jiangsu Commerce Council of Canada (JCCC,加拿大江苏国际商会), a non-profit in Canada where Victor Oh and Michael Chan serve as honorary chairmen.
Michael Chan (left) and Victor Oh (right) signed their names on the letter. Source: ccmedia.news.
Thus, there are two letters involved here: the sympathy letter from the Chinese government to the JCCC; and the reply letter from the JCCC to the Chinese government. Below are the summary of the sympathy letter and the English translation of the full text of the reply letter. The translation was achieved by DeepL Translator and Google Lens with minor editing.
The sympathy letter: from the Jiangsu provincial government to JCCC, a Canadian NGO
This sympathy letter was 2.5 pages long with the letterhead of the Jiangsu Provincial Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (中国共产党江苏省委员会). It was addressed to Mr. Jiang Rui (姜睿) and all overseas Chinese from Jiangsu in Canada. Mr. Jiang Rui is the president of the JCCC.
Two persons signed at the end of the sympathy letter, including Lou Qinjian (娄勤俭), the secretary of the Jiangsu Provincial Committee of the Chinese Communist Party; and Wu Zhenglong (吴政隆), Governor of Jiangsu Provincial People's Government.
In the letter, Lou and Wu thanked JCCC’s help in sending PPE and monetary donations to the Jiangsu province at the early stage of the pandemic, and expressed deep concern and sympathy to the Chinese diaspora from Jiangsu in Canada as the pandemic in Canada was getting serious.
In the fourth paragraph, the two Chinese government officials told the JCCC members and overseas Chinese in Canada from Jiangsu, “At the same time, we hope that you will act as a bridge to convey confidence, actively telling a good story of China’s battle against the covid-19 pandemic, promoting the image of the motherland as a responsible big country, and demonstrating the good citizenship quality of Jiangsu people overseas. ”
The reply letter: from JCCC to the Jiangsu provincial government
The reply letter was 2-page long in simplified Chinese characters with a letterhead of the JCCC, wrapped up by a signature page with 21 signatories including Canadian Senator Victor Oh and former Ontario MPP Michael Chan.
Dear Secretary Lou and Governor Wu, Recently, the coronavirus has been rampant for three months, overseas Chinese have been looking at the white clouds day in and day out for messages (from families far away). At this special moment, we received your special "home letter". We feel affectionate and warm! This "letter from home", which is full of love and care from the Jiangsu provincial government for overseas Chinese, has been widely circulated among Canadian overseas Chinese and has aroused strong reactions and resonance. Yesterday's letter arrived, comforting my long absence from the group! Jiangsu expatriates have expressed that this letter of sympathy from home makes us feel the warmth of home and the care of our relatives! We have reason to believe that when we encounter difficulties, we are in front of the "strong, rich, beautiful and high" new Jiangsu, and behind us is the great government of the Great China! The Canadian Jiangsu Commerce Council of Canada (JCCC) is one of the most influential associations in Canada. Early on in China's fight against the epidemic, we used the special resources and channels of our many members to tell the story of China's fight to the Canadian government and people. Through extensive and in-depth promotion, China's responsible, courageous, strong, cooperative and great power style, and Jiangsu's strong confidence and positive action in resuming work and production as a large economic, open and innovative province are increasingly understood, supported and appreciated by the Canadian government and people, as well as the majority of overseas Chinese! On January 28th this year, we signed a grand contract with the Overseas Chinese Charity Foundation of Jiangsu Province (江苏省华侨公益基金会) and took the lead in establishing the "A Good Jasmine" special fund to fight against the covid pandemic, which quickly received a warm response from the loving people in China and Canada. The honorary president of the JCCC, the Canadian Senator Mr. Victor Oh; the honorary president of the JCCC, the former Minister of International Trade of Ontario, the honorary citizen of Jiangsu Province, Mr. Michael Chan; the president of the Jiangsu Overseas Chinese Association, Ms. Zhou Jiannong (周建农) and a large number of caring people have generously donated, quickly raised funds and PPEs whose combined value amounts to nearly two million yuan. More than twenty people from the JCCC's volunteer team worked around the clock in China and Canada, moving from country to country, fighting for more than a month, overcoming various difficulties, distributing the collected protective clothing, masks, goggles and other epidemic prevention materials to more than a dozen hospitals in Nanjing, Zhenjiang, Lianyungang and other cities, strongly supporting the prevention and control of the pandemic in Jiangsu province, showcasing the overseas Chinese of Jiangsu origin in Canada "heart for the motherland, love for the hometown". This shows the fervent heart of Jiangsu Canadian compatriots. At present, coronavirus prevention and control in China has achieved important results, however, the global pandemic situation is still very serious. The safety of overseas compatriots has become the worry and concern of our compatriots at home in China. Your love is sent to us from our hometown from a distance. Under your kind concern and the call of the Jiangsu provincial government, the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the provincial party committee, the provincial Overseas Chinese Affairs Office (OCAO), the Jiangsu Overseas Friendship Association, and other departments have extended their caring hands. Among them, the provincial Overseas Chinese Association and the JCCC set up an overseas "Jiangsu Overseas Chinese Association Chinese Medicine Fighting Pandemic Care Platform" in Toronto to provide effective professional medical consultation services for Jiangsu overseas Chinese, so that nearly 1,000 Jiangsu overseas Chinese have directly received first-hand knowledge, information, medicine and protection solutions from the successful fight against the covid-19 pandemic in China. We also set up the "A Good Jasmine" service platform for Jiangsu students in Canada, which provides information consultation, psychological counseling, emergency supplies and other related services for nearly 500 overseas students of Jiangsu nationality, and conveys the care of the motherland and the concern of their relatives at home to them in time. We protect the overseas talent resources of our country. The liver and guts are always shining on each other, and the ice pot reflects the cold moon. This year is the 35th anniversary of the friendship and sisterhood relationship between Jiangsu Province and Ontario and the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Canada. The neighborly love between Canada and China in fighting the pandemic together has made us more confident in the economic, trade and cultural cooperation between Jiangsu and Ontario, in the long-term friendly relationship between Canada and China, and in the future of the community of human destiny! We sincerely invite you to lead a delegation to visit Canada when the epidemic is over, in order to further promote Sino-Canadian friendship and high-level, multi-faceted and close economic, trade and cultural exchanges and cooperation between China and Canada, especially between Jiangsu Province and Ontario. We will continue to support and participate in the construction of our great motherland and contribute to the high-quality development of Jiangsu! Best wishes for good health! And hello to the people back home! April 10, 2020
Jiang Rui (姜睿), President of the JCCC and Vice President of Jiangsu Overseas Friendship Association (江苏省海外联谊会)
Victor Oh (胡子修), Honorary President of the JCCC, Canadian Senator, Chair of the Canada-China Legislative Association
Michael Chan (陈国治), Honorary President of the JCCC, former Minister of International Trade of Ontario, Canada, and Honorary Citizen of Jiangsu Province
Shen Hao (沈浩), Past President of the JCCC, Director of Howard Canada and recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal
Xu Xiaoguang (徐晓光), Executive Chairman of the JCCC, Chairman of Baneks Inc. and one of Canada's Top Ten Outstanding Young Persons
Wu Xiguang (吴锡光), Executive Chairman of the JCCC, Chairman of Hongqiao Group of Canada, Overseas Representative of Jiangsu Province CPPCC
Andy Chan, Vice President of the Chamber, Senior Partner of Miller Thomson LLP and recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal
Cathy Li, Vice President of Royal Bank of Canada, Vice President of the JCCC
Ms. Ye Limei (叶丽梅), Vice President of the JCCC, President of MeasureTek Canada
Mr. Wan-Hong Xia (夏万鸿), Vice President of the JCCC and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mayfair Canada
Dr. Shenshu Zhang (张神树), President of TAES Architects and German Architect, Vice President of the Chamber
Cao Yanhong (曹燕红), Vice President of the JCCC, Manager of Risk Department, ICBC Canada
Mr. Tu Wei (涂玮), Secretary General of the JCCC, President of Jiangsu Oriental Arts and Crafts Research Institute
Mr. Li Chengyuan (李承嘏), Vice President of the JCCC, Chairman of Ryan Education Group, Canada
Mr. Ji Guangxiang (纪广祥), Vice President of the JCCC, Chairman of Golden Leaf Biotechnology Company
Mr. Miao Bingwen (缪炳文), Chairman of Jiangsu Popular Bookstore Culture Industry Co.
Zuo Jin (左晋), Vice President of the JCCC, a famous painter in Canada
Mr. Shi Xin (施欣), Vice President of the JCCC, Chairman of Xinwei Education Group, Canada
Sun Kehua (孙克华), Vice President of the JCCC, Chairman of Dasan Aviation Group, Canada
Zhou Qifang (周启方), Chairman of New Energy Capital Corporation
Linda Zhou, Vice President of the JCCC and Vice President of Canadian International Television
Other details in the report
In the report by CCMedia.news, it called the local Chinese government officials “parental officers (父母官)”, which is a term in Chinese traditional culture, which means in the authoritarian political system, the government functions like the people’s parents, providing love as well as discipline.
The report also added a paragraph about the reaction of the JCCC members when they received the letter from their “parental officers” from China. It says,
“Board directors of the JCCC told me, when I saw this letter from home, a song sounded in my ears:
You raise me up!
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains.
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas.
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... to more than I can be.
Because of your inspiration, I have surpassed myself!
What’s worth mentioning is, the JCCC board dictators changed the lyric “I am strong when I stand on your shoulders” to “I am strong when I stand on the shoulders of my home country”.