Gu Jianyun, editor-in-chief and president of “Red Maple Forest News Network” has attended the “Two Sessions”— a collective term used to describe the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) two-part plenary sessions: the National People’s Congress (NPC), and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
Red Maple News (红枫林), according to its website, is part of Red Maple Journal Corporation, and was formed in 2011 to “serve the Chinese community in an all-round way, promote traditional Chinese culture, and assist new immigrants to integrate into Canada.”
Its articles of incorporation show that it was incorporated in 2010, formerly operating as the Isabelle Information and Development Inc., headquartered in London, Ontario, at 18 McIntosh Court. The two directors listed are Gu Jianyun and Feng Xia. An old real estate video shows that the home base of the media outlet was a sprawling residential property listed for sale four years ago.
Records indicate the property appears to have sold in 2019.
The business addresses on Red Maple News’ website list two current addresses: one in Mississauga, Ontario, and one in Chaoyang District, Beijing.
The Mississauga address provided in English is 808-165 DIndia Street West, which doesn’t exist. The second address in Chaoyang is Huateng International, an apartment complex in Beijing. Chaoyang (朝阳区) is the diplomatic district of Beijing, housing the bulk of China’s foreign embassies. Geographically a political hub, it’s also home to hundreds of foreign media outlets. It would appear that “Canadian” Red Maple News is one of them.
It makes sense to maintain an overseas presence because the president of Red Maple News also attends the “Two Sessions”— a collective term used for the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) plenary sessions. The sessions are the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), held every spring in the Great Hall in Beijing.
The CPPCC is an advisory body to the CCP where diplomats, academics, propagandists, representatives, officers and others unite. It is unofficially governed on different levels by the United Front Work Department (UFWD).
A description on the site reveals the following about Gu Jianyun: “Concerned about the development of her homeland, she has been invited to report on the Two Sessions for many years,” and she worked to “maintain smooth communication channels with overseas Chinese affairs departments in China and various provinces and cities while being invited to attend national and regional events organized by Chinese mainstream media organizations such as the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council of China, the National Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, People's Daily Overseas Edition, and China News Service.”
The Overseas Chinese Affairs Office (国务院侨务办公室), or OCAO, is recognized as a department overseen as a division of and parented by the United Front Work Department, which is acknowledged as a foreign interference tool utilized by the Chinese Communist Party on the Government of Canada’s website.
Jianyun is also pictured in a post on Red Maple News standing beside a young Justin Trudeau while wearing a 2015 Liberal Party volunteer lanyard around her neck, with Liberal Party campaign materials in the background plastered with their old slogan “Real Change.”
Another article on Red Maple’s site describes how Jianyun was invited to Parliament Hill by Justin Trudeau in 2017 for a festival celebration. She explains how she was the first to report the speech he made back to “China News Service” (中国新闻社) — the second-largest state-controlled news agency in China. The Overseas Chinese Affairs Office state department, which was absorbed into the United Front Work Department of the Central Committee of the CCP in 2018, formerly ran the agency in 2018.
Jianyun also visited Beijing in 2018 to meet with the UFWD and other overseas leaders to promote “new ideas and developments in the Belt and Road initiative.” She openly boasts of being an overseas representative for China and meeting with Chinese officials. She hopes to “set an example in the field of new overseas Chinese power and new overseas Chinese intelligence” and to “silently make due contributions” towards “fulfilling the mission.”
It is unclear if assisting Justin Trudeau was a part of that “mission,” but if it was, then mission accomplished.