West Vancouver mom seeking full parental rights so daughter can visit dad in Chinese jail

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A West Vancouver woman is petitioning the B.C. Supreme Court to give her full parental rights over her teenage daughter as her husband languishes in a Chinese prison, serving life for fraud charges related to a land development project since 2010.

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Canadian passport on luggage / Shutterstock

In a petition filed July 31 in B.C. Supreme Court, homemaker Xi Hong Zhao names her husband, Xing Hai Liu, a citizen of Tonga, as a respondent, seeking to have all parental responsibilities over the couple’s 14-year-old daughter allocated to her under B.C.’s Family Law Act.

While the marriage remains “intact,” the petition states that the girl hasn’t seen her father in more than nine years and to visit she requires a passport, which she can’t obtain without both parents’ signatures.

Liu, the chairman of a company called Nanchang World Trade Centre Ltd., claims he’s been wrongfully convicted of “committing contract fraud,” “misrepresenting registered capital” and “illegally transferring land usage rights,” which saw him sentenced to life in prison and “lifetime deprivation of political rights, and the confiscation of all personal property.”

Meanwhile, Zhao, a Canadian citizen, was given two options by the Canadian passport office: get her husband’s “written consent, witnessed by a prison official and forwarded from the institution where he is being held in China” or get a court order allowing her to renew it absent her husband’s consent.

“The first option would require the cooperation of officials at the institution where the respondent is imprisoned,” the petition states. ”The respondent maintains his innocence. He appealed his conviction, unsuccessfully, in China.”

Zhao’s husband also launched lawsuits in the U.S. against companies involved with the property development project, one of which was based in Brooklyn, New York, but the case was dismissed last year.

“When the US Proceedings were dismissed in 2018, the respondent launched a second civil action in the United States against the Chinese government, officials in the government of Jiangxi Province and three additional Chinese controlled corporate entities. Those proceedings continue,” the petition states.

“Because of the second United States action against Chinese government entities, the respondent was moved to a more remote prison within Jiangxi Province. He is currently being held at Jiangxi Raozhou Prison, in Shangrao City, Jiangxi Province.”

Zhao, according to the petition, “wishes to remain joint guardians” over the girl with her husband, and is relying on her sister-in-law who lives in China to serve the court documents on Liu in prison.