Xinhua Reporter Wanted Divorce for Canadian MP, Email Alleges
Shi Rong in an undated photo sent to government and media contacts from Shi’s
email account last week.
A reporter with the Chinese state-run Xinhua News Agency wanted to divorce
her husband to “continue her love affair" with Canadian member of Parliament Bob Dechert, says the email sent from her
account to scores of government and media contacts last week.
says, in Chinese: “To continue her love affair with this member of Parliament,
Shi Rong pitilessly asked to end her marriage while stationed overseas. This is
the Shi Rong you should know about."
The email sender leaves no name, but
Shi has told the Globe and Mail that her account was hacked by her husband.
Dechert himself said he believed the account
had been hacked “as a part of an ongoing domestic dispute."
seems to contradict Dechert’s claim that his relationship with Shi was merely a
Attached to the email are copies of several email and text exchanges between Shi and
Dechert as well as a photo of the two together with another unidentified
Dechert is the parliamentary secretary to the minister of foreign
affairs and the MP for Mississauga-Erindale. He is also a vice-chair of the
Canada-China Legislative Association, which aims to encourage closer ties
between the two countries.
Dechert accompanied Canadian Prime Minister
Stephen Harper on his trip to China in 2009. According to the biography posted
on his website, Dechert is married.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister’s
Office has said that Dechert denied engaging in any inappropriate behaviour, and
that the PMO has no information to the contrary.
experts say a relationship between a government official and a Xinhua employee
is a cause for concern.
David Harris, the former chief of strategic
planning for Canada’s intelligence agency, CSIS, told The Epoch Times that one of Xinhua’s functions is to operate
“as a front for Chinese intelligence.”
“We know that political,
industrial, and other personalities must be on their guard against the
long-recognized Chinese government’s use of attractive men and women to
compromise, pressure, and otherwise manipulate them,” Harris said.
Harris said Xinhua has “various intelligence functions” on behalf of the
Chinese regime, and some of its journalists are thought to operate as
intelligence collectors. The U.S.-based global intelligence company Stratfor has
said the agency has historically been a “major cover” for the Chinese Ministry
of State Security officers and agents.
CSIS head Richard Fadden said last year that some Canadian
politicians are under the influence of a
foreign regime and alluded to China as the most aggressive country in the effort
to gain influence.
In one of the emails, Dechert writes from his
parliamentary email account to Shi, referring to a picture that Shi sent him of
her, “You are so beautiful. I really like that picture of you by the water with
your cheeks puffed. That look is so cute. I love it when you do that. Now, I
miss you even more.”
In another email, he tells Shi that as he drove to
Ottawa, “I enjoyed the drive by thinking of
you,” and tells her to watch the live stream
video of the parliament that evening because he will smile at her while
Also included in the email is a photo of what appears to be a
BlackBerry message from “Bob Dechert M.P.," that reads: “Hello, I am happy that
you are safe. I love you too. See you soon."