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The rise of China has added special urgency to the question of foreign influence and foreign interference. While diaspora politics plays a role in this, China’s reach and influence now extends far beyond the Chinese diaspora community.
For the purposes of this paper, a foreign agent is a Canadian who lobbies or communicates on behalf of a foreign principal to influence Canadian government policy or public opinion in Canada. While acting as a foreign agent overlaps in many important ways with what we have traditionally defined as lobbying, it can include activities, such as public political advocacy on behalf of a foreign principal, that aren’t adequately covered under the definition of lobbying set out in the Federal Accountability Act of 2006.