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HomeBusinessExclusive: Xi Jinping’s B.C. envoy sent PPE wishlist to Premier Horgan

Exclusive: Xi Jinping’s B.C. envoy sent PPE wishlist to Premier Horgan


Bob Mackin

A year after they announced British Columbia’s first coronavirus patient, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry appeared for a live TV interview on Jan. 28. 

Global BC anchor Chris Gailus asked Henry what she would have done differently.

China consul general Tong Xiaoling, left, and Premier John Horgan on Feb. 4, 2019 in Richmond (BC Gov)

“If I knew then what I know now, focusing on supporting China and taking measures globally to prevent this virus from spreading,” Henry said. 

A jaw-dropping statement, after the Chinese Communist Party’s initial response.

China had been slow to notify the World Health Organization about the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak and denied WHO officials immediate entry to investigate. The WHO famously Tweeted that the virus was not contagious for humans. China even sent police to crack down on doctors blowing the whistle about the SARS-like illness spreading in their city and beyond. Dr. Li Wenliang was one of them. He succumbed to the disease on Feb. 7, 2020.

What could British Columbia have done, if Henry could go back in time?

Documents obtained by via Freedom of Information show Xi Jinping’s top west coast diplomat wanted millions of pieces of personal protective equipment. B.C.’s stockpiles were already depleted because of NDP government neglect. 

Consul-General Tong Xiaoling wrote Premier John Horgan on Jan. 27, 2020, about the “all out efforts to contain and control the epidemic.”

Tong Xiaoling’s letter to Premier John Horgan (BC Gov/FOI)

“Medical staffs from all over China are mobilized to Wuhan for the treatment of the patients and the front line medical staffs are in extremely urgent need of professional disposable (single use) protective equipment including, respirators of or above the level of N95 masks, isolation gowns, goggles and face shields,” Tong wrote.

“My office is instructed to liaise purchase of the above equipment. I would really appreciate if you could kindly refer my office to the relative provincial authorities and contact information.”

Tong included a wish list. She asked for 2,250,000 medical protective masks, 6,000,000 surgical masks, 1,500,000 disposable medical isolation suits and 270,000 medical isolation masks.

Horgan replied three days later on Jan. 30, 2020. “I wish to extend my sincere sympathy and support to the government and the citizens of the Republic of China affected by the virus.

“These circumstances require a coordinated approach from governments to support China in containing this outbreak. The Government of Canada is working with provinces and territories to effectively plan for domestic public health management requirements in this evolving situation, including assessing our domestic needs for protective equipment.”

A senior official from the B.C. government provided Tong’s office with names and contact information for PPE manufacturers.

China’s PPE wish list, sent to B.C.’s Premier (BC Gov/FOI)

“Further, representatives of the Canadian government will contact you if it is determined that protective equipment in excess of domestic requirements is identified,” Horgan wrote.

Just over a week later, on Feb. 7, 2020, Dr. Tedros Adhanon Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization, warned that PPE demand was 100 times normal and prices 20 times higher because of the widespread non-medical use of PPE.

Allies of the Chinese Communist Party in Vancouver and Toronto were already buying as much bulk PPE as they could in order to fulfil CCP wishes.

The federal government went ahead anyway with a 16-tonne donation shipment to China that was quietly announced Feb. 9.

It would come back to haunt Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Hospitals across Canada ran out of PPE, frontline healthcare workers were infected and Trudeau sent cargo jets to China on costly emergency buying missions. 

Some of the same groups involved with the CCP’s United Front buying spree in Canada held photo ops two months later, donating hundreds of thousands of masks to hospitals in Vancouver. 

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