A Vancouver couple who had taught in Southern China for decades without issue, have been placed under investigation by China for stealing state secrets. Though, it almost seems as though Kevin and Julie Garratt were only targeted after a particularly ambitious game of “How uncomfortable can we make the Chinese government?”
Kevin Garratt, in a sermon delivered last year in Vancouver, announced that God had commanded the couple to move to Dandong, a city at the Chinese-North Korean border, where they opened a coffee shop.
The fact that China is allowing Canadian Christians to be open about their faith is a relatively new state of affairs. In 1949, the new ruling Communist Party expelled all foreign missionaries and still has a ban on “proselytizing,” and North Korea still jails foreigners for promoting Christianity.
At the coffee shop, they sold exclusively Western food, including hamburgers and the neo-Imperialist elixir of choice for Western invaders, the Dr. Pepper float. They even had a weekly “English corner conversation club” where they taught Mao-fearing Chinese citizens how to speak the language of American dogs.
Lastly, the couple regularly sent oil and cooking supplies to North Korea, ostensibly for humanitarian purposes, but easily misinterpreted by the Chinese as either missionary work, or trying to spur a revolution.
With all that hanging over their heads, in a regime like China, it’s obvious that the authorities were just waiting to arrest these hamburger-loving, English-speaking, Western quasi-missionaries. But why now? They’ve been operating for a few years without an issue, so what spurred it?
Did the Canadian government do anything to piss off China lately involving the “espionage” word?
Oh yeah, last Tuesday we accused the Chinese government of sponsoring hackers in order to steal our state secrets.
So, this could all be a classic act of revenge. We publicly shame China, accusing them of stealing our secrets, and they retaliate by locking up some baristas who have been a thorn in their side.
The Garratts haven’t been formally arrested, but the punishment for stealing state secrets is life in prison or death. Maybe they were actually CSIS agents, spreading subversive ideas into North Korea, and preparing for the Canadian invasion. But something tells me that they were just a couple that wanted to spread the joy of Dr. Pepper floats around the world. Mr. President Xi Jinping, why don’t you try a sip. It’s filled with High Fructose Corn Syrup and Western meddling, but it sure cools you down on a hot day.