The exiled Chinese billionaire connected to Donald Trump advisor Steve Bannon paid $300 a day for picketers to march daily outside a Surrey journalist’s house in fall 2020.
Shiliang Yin said in an interview that Guo Wengui (aka Miles Kwok) sent him US$50,000 to distribute cash to supporters of Guo and Bannon’s New Federal State of China [NFSC] campaign for a so-called “traitor punishment” operation against Gao Bingchen.
They marched, chanted and waved signs daily for more than two-and-a-half months in the Green Timbers cul-de-sac outside Gao’s home, alleging he secretly works for the Chinese Communist Party and should be deported.
Gao, who writes and livestreams under the name Huang Hebian, denies their allegations. He has frequently reported on real estate tycoon Guo, who fled to the U.S. in 2014 and is wanted for corruption in China. Guo was the developer of the dragon-shaped Pangu Plaza complex in Beijing that opened for the Beijing 2008 Olympics.
In retaliation, Yin recruited picketers and led daily protests that he said were ordered and financed by Guo.
“He always likes to tell people to do things for him,” Yin said. “So he appoints someone as leader and people wire money to the guy or to the association.”
Yin, 33, is speaking out more than two years after he and another man, Mu Bai, 46, viciously attacked one of Gao’s friends, Louis Huang, in the cul-de-sac on Nov. 25, 2020. In 2021, a judge gave Yin a seven-month conditional sentence and 12 months probation for assault causing bodily harm. Bai received 12 months probation.
The group that Yin formerly led returned earlier this month to Gao’s neighbourhood. Yin wants the public to know that Gao doesn’t deserve it and that he is deeply apologetic for what he did to Huang.
“Mr. Gao is totally a good person and we don’t have any evidence to point out Mr. Gao is a CCP spy,” said Yin in an interview.
Gao said he is deeply disturbed and feels threatened for the security of his family and his neighbours, who range from schoolchildren to senior citizens.
“I urge the police to pay attention to this matter and protect the safety of my neighbourhood,” Gas said in a statement.
“I sincerely hope that we will be protected in our homes and our children can go to school without fear and we hope that there will be no more bloodshed!”
Not only does Yin regret hurting Huang, who needed facial surgery after sustained kicking and punching, but he also regrets tarnishing the image of overseas Chinese. He said Guo promised to provide lawyers if anyone needed them, but Yin said the experience left him $100,000 in debt.
Yin issued a 10-point statement expressing shame and remorse, and to reveal what he said is the “truth behind this strange protest.” He has kept his WhatsApp communication with Guo, who has paid for similar “traitor punishment” actions in other cities in Canada and the U.S. Yin said many people involved were victims of fraud and some were duped into believing their participation could earn them political asylum visas in Canada or the U.S.
“I hope that all the people who were in Guo Wengui’s gang, especially the members of the NFSC who still carry out illegal slander in this community, can learn from me, keep your eyes open, and stop being fooled,” Yin said.
Huang, co-founder of the Vancouver Chinese Human Rights Watch Group, said the court cases against Yin and Bai took too long and the punishment was insufficient, but he is encouraged by Yin’s change of heart and decision to tell the truth.
Almost a year ago, Guo declared bankruptcy, with 159 creditors claiming he owes US$374 million. In 2021, Guo’s three media companies agreed to a US$539 million settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Bannon was arrested on Guo’s Lady May yacht in August 2020. He is expected to go on trial in November for allegedly defrauding donors to a campaign aimed at building part of Trump’s controversial wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
B.C. Securities Commission added the Guo/Bannon-formed GTV Media Group Inc., a subsidiary of Saraca Media Group Inc., to its caution list in May 2020. The regulator warned investors that neither are registered to sell securities in B.C.
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