Thursday, June 21, 2018

Beijing Wants to Remake the Internet

Beijing Wants to Remake the Internet


June 21, 2018


a group of people standing in front of a large crowd of people
Image result for Beijing Wants to Remake the Internet
Image result for Beijing Wants to Remake the Internet
It’s never been a worse time to be a Chinese telecom company in America. This evening, the Senate is set to vote on whether to restore a ban on U.S. company sales to prominent Chinese telecom player ZTE, a penalty for its illegal shipments to Iran and North Korea. The bill also includes a measure that would ban U.S. government agencies from buying equipment and services made by ZTE and Huawei, one of its competitors, to tackle cyber threats to U.S. supply chains. Meanwhile, a revelation that Huawei was among the companies with whom Facebook had data-sharing agreements, which allowed device makers to access user data and that of their friends, sparked fears that the Chinese government now possesses a treasure trove of sensitive data on U.S. citizens.
ZTE and Huawei have become flashpoints in the Trump administration’s confrontation with Beijing over cybersecurity, investment, trade, and technological leadership. All this comes as the administration slapped tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods last Friday. But amid the hysteria surrounding these two companies, we may be missing a less obvious but potentially more impactful challenge: China’s ambitions to radically overhaul the internet.
In late April, just days after the Commerce Department announced the denial order against ZTE, Xi Jinping, the president of China, gave a major speech laying out his vision to turn his country into a “cyber superpower.” His speech, along with other statements and policies he has made since assuming power, outlines his government’s ambition not just for independence from foreign technology, but its mission to write the rules for global cyber governance—rules that look very different from those of market economies of the West. This alternative would include technical standards requiring foreign companies to build versions of their products compliant with Chinese standards, and pressure to comply with government surveillance policies. It would require data to be stored on servers in-country and restrict transfer of data outside China without government permission. It would also permit government agencies and critical infrastructure systems to source only from local suppliers.
China, in other words, appears to be floating the first competitive alternative to the open internet—a model that it is steadily proliferating around the world. As that model spreads, whether through Beijing’s own efforts or through the model’s inherent appeal for certain developing countries with more similarities to China than the West, we cannot take for granted that the internet will remain a place of free expression where open markets can flourish.
China has been open about its intentions to change how the world addresses development. As part of that vision, for over a decade, it has advocated for something its leaders call “cyberspace sovereignty” as a rebuke to established actors in internet governance like the United States, Europe, and Japan. To advance this model, Xi created a powerful government body to centralize cyber policy. In addition to passing a major cybersecurity law, China has pushed through dozens of regulations and technical standards that, in conjunction, bolster the government’s control of and visibility into the entire internet ecosystem, from the infrastructure that undergirds the internet, to the flow of data, to the dissemination of information online, to the make-up of the software and hardware that form the basis of everything from e-commerce to industrial control systems. In a 2016 speech, Xi called for core internet technologies deemed critical to national and economic security to be “secure and controllable”—meaning that the government would have broad discretion, even without specific written regulations, to decide how it protects information networks, devices, and data.
China’s cyber governance plan appears to have three objectives. One is a legitimate desire to address substantial cybersecurity challenges, like defending against cyber attacks and keeping stolen personal data off the black market. A second is the impulse to support domestic industry, in order to wean the government off its dependence on foreign technology components for certain IT products deemed essential to economic and national security. (In effect, these requirements exclude foreign participation, or make foreign participation only possible on Beijing’s terms.) The third goal is to expand Beijing’s power to surveil and control the dissemination of economic, social, and political information online.
To achieve these objectives, Beijing has instituted standards that force foreign companies to build China-only versions of their products, and to comply with government surveillance policies. Government security audits allow Beijing to open up these companies’ products and review their source code, putting their intellectual property at risk, which was documented comprehensively for the first time last March in a report by the Office of the United States Trade Representative. Article 37 of the cybersecurity law also increases government control over the sort of data that can be transferred out of the country, while unwritten rules reward companies that store data on local servers.
Many of these elements serve a dual purpose: supporting domestic industry while further closing off the internet. Freedom House ranks China as “the worst abuser of internet freedom,” noting that its government affiliates “employ hundreds of thousands or even millions of people to monitor, censor, and manipulate online content.” Such policies also effectively exclude foreign content, leaving Chinese providers with uncontested market openings.
But Beijing wants not only to prevent the United States from interfering with its domestic cyber policies: It also wants to set the tone for how the rest of the world governs the internet. To exert influence on its partners, it uses direct outreach to foreign governments, as well as massive investments in internet technologies through the Belt and Road Initiative, extensive military-to-military cooperation, and growing participation in international institutions.
In 2015, for instance, China selected Tanzania (China is Tanzania’s largest trade partner) as a pilot country for China–Africa capacity-building, giving Beijing substantial influence over Tanzania’s governmentChina used that influence to foster collaboration around cyberspace governance. Since 2015, Tanzania has passed a cyber-crime law and subsequent restrictions on internet content and blogging activity that parallel China’s content controls. Both have been informed by technical assistance from the Chinese government. At a roundtable in Dar es Salaam sponsored by Beijing, Edwin Ngonyani, Tanzania’s deputy minister for transport and communications, explained, “Our Chinese friends have managed to block such media in their country and replaced them with their homegrown sites that are safe, constructive, and popular.” Among other countries where China invests heavily, Nigeria has adopted measures requiring that consumer data be hosted in Nigeria, while Egypt has pending legislation that would mandate ride-sharing companies to store data in-country while also making it more accessible to authorities. Chinese partners like Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt engage in aggressive online content control.
Other countries, meanwhile, have adopted only parts of China’s law. Independent of Beijing, Russia has forged a model akin to China’s, embracing an intrusive government role in cyberspace including the most expansive data localization and surveillance regime in the world. Last week Vietnam adopted a cybersecurity law that mirrors China’s. India has imposed some indigenous technical standards, and is considering legislation to enact domestic-sourcing requirements for cybersecurity technologies.
China’s model appeals to these countries because it provides them with tools to take control of an open internet. Online platforms used for terrorism and political dissent threaten national stability. The Edward Snowden revelations and crippling cyber attacks like WannaCry and Mirai create a sense of vulnerability that China’s model promises to fix.   
The most alluring feature of the China model appears to be content control, as a broad range of China’s neighbors and partners engage in blocking, filtering, and manipulating internet content. Also alluring: its rules for storing data on servers in-country, which can help law enforcement and intelligence officials get access to user information.
The problem with China’s model is that it crashes headlong into the foundational principles of the internet in market-based democracies: online freedom, privacy, free international markets, and broad international cooperationChina’s model may also not even be effective in delivering on its promises. For example, government-imposed content-control measures have proven to be poor tools in fighting online extremism. Filtering or removing online content has been compared to a game of “whack-a-mole,” making it ineffective and cost-prohibitive. Such controls also suppress countervailing discourse from key anti-extremism influencers, which have proven to be effective in offering compelling alternative narratives and discrediting extremist ideas.

How China tried to shut down Australian media coverage of its debt-trap diplomacy in the Pacific


How China tried to shut down Australian media coverage of its debt-trap diplomacy in the Pacific


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A Chinese Embassy official yelled and made demands of an Australian producer to try and censor an episode of "60 Minutes" that would be critical of China.

Five charged in Calgary FOB gang-style slayings


Five charged in Calgary FOB gang-style slayings

JASON VAN RASSEL, CALGARY HERALD  

Five men have been arrested in connection with three gang-related shootings.
CALGARY HERALD
Investigators have made arrests in three gang-related shootings that killed six people at the height of a bloody conflict between FOB and FOB Killers. Five men with ties to the FOB gang are facing murder and organized crime-related charges resulting from a long-term police investigation dubbed Desino — the Latin word for “desist.”
The name is meant to evoke a determination to end the violence that has been responsible for at least 25 homicides since 2002, but not an end to the investigation.
Calgary police said Thursday night they’re continuing the hunt for more gang members involved in the bloodshed.
“The operation’s ongoing — we’re not done,” said Insp. Cliff O’Brien of the major crimes section.
“We’re not going to finish until we get all these people.”
The police operation, which began in January 2012, has resulted in charges in two cases that remained unsolved since 2008, as well as charges against two additional men in connection with the infamous Bolsa Restaurant massacre of Jan. 1, 2009.
“These are old homicides, but we’ve never forgotten,” O’Brien said.
The first of the three shootings killed Kevin Anaya, who was gunned down outside a home on Marcombe Drive N.E. on Aug. 8, 2008.
Anaya, 21, wasn’t a gang member, but had friends in both FOB and FOB Killers (FK). The gunmen who killed Anaya had targeted another man, who escaped unhurt.
Police have charged four FOB veterans with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in connection with Anaya’s killing: Nicholas Cypui Chan, 35, his brother, Timothy Chan, 32, Nathan Lawrence Zuccherato, 26, and Dustin Duke Darby, 30.
All of the men charged in connection with the Desino investigation are in custody — except for Timothy Chan, who remains at large. Police said he has ties in Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto.
Calgary police arrested Nicholas Chan downtown on Thursday afternoon.
Zuccherato was previously convicted of three counts of first-degree murder in connection to the Bolsa shootings, but the Alberta Court of Appeal set aside the conviction last month and ordered a new trial.
Darby is serving a 7.5-year federal prison sentence for cocaine trafficking.
The second case involved the shooting of Kevin Ses and Tina Kong, two friends who were killed while eating at the Food In East Restaurant on Marlborough Drive N.E. on Oct. 26, 2008.
Ses, 21, was associated with an FK gang member but Kong, 21, had no connections to criminal activity. The shots seriously wounded two friends with them.
Zuccherato and Van Thoai Luc, 25, have each been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.
Police in Burnaby, B.C. arrested Luc on Thursday.
The third part of the investigation involved charging two additional suspects — Nicholas Chan and Darby — with first-degree murder in connection with the Bolsa massacre on Jan. 1, 2009.
Gunmen who burst into the restaurant killed FK gang member Sanjeev Mann, 22, Aaron Bendle, 22, who was a friend of Mann’s and a cocaine dealer, and patron Keni Su’a, 43, a bystander shot when he ran from the eatery.
Like Zuccherato, Michael Roberto was also originally convicted of three counts of first-degree murder but has been granted a new trial by the Alberta Court of Appeal.
A third man, Real Christian Honorio, 29, is appealing his conviction on three counts of first-degree murder.
The Bolsa murders were a plot to kill Mann by first kidnapping Bendle and forcing him to arrange a meeting at the restaurant.
Nicholas Hovanesian, 27, was originally charged with first-degree murder in the plot but the charges were dropped and he pleaded guilty instead to kidnapping and accessory to murder after the fact. He is serving a 14-year sentence.
For now, police aren’t revealing what roles Nicholas Chan and Darby allegedly had in the Bolsa killings.
“They played a significant role, otherwise we wouldn’t be here and we wouldn’t be charging them with first-degree murder,” O’Brien said.
Many cases connected to the FOB-FK conflict went unsolved until a lengthy police probe called Synchronicity made the first arrests in the Bolsa shootings in June 2009.
As elaborate and expensive as that investigation was, there are indications the scale of Desino will surpass it.
The probe involved more than a dozen law enforcement organizations across the country working with investigators drawn from several units of the Calgary Police Service.
“We know on average, a gang-related homicide (investigation) can cost several million dollars,” O’Brien said.
And for the first time, one of those investigations has resulted in police laying charges of instructing a criminal organization and participating in a criminal organization.
Nicholas Chan has been charged with instructing a criminal organization in the Anaya homicide; Darby has been charged with participation in a criminal organization in connection with the Bolsa killings.
“We have in the past been successful in identifying and charging people that have pulled the trigger, but ... because we’ve lacked the co-operation from people, we’ve struggled with identifying and charging those people who have pulled the strings,” said O’Brien.
The Chan brothers were among the first members of FOB. As police first observed the gang in its early days, they used to refer to it internally as the “Chin/Chan group,” after the Chan brothers and the Chin brothers, Roland and Roger.
A faction later split from FOB and became known as the FOB Killers.
Nicholas Chan nearly died in April, when an attacker stabbed him outside a grocery store in the city’s Beltline.
FK member Bill Ly was recently charged with aggravated assault in connection with the attack on Chan.
Border officers arrested Ly, 29, last month in Vancouver as he stepped off a flight from Taiwan.
Despite an ebb in the violence between the gangs — helped by the investigative successes of police — O’Brien said FOB and FK remain active in the city’s criminal underworld and police must stay vigilant.
“Although there are fewer overt acts of violence between these gangs in the city, we know these gangs still exist,” he said,
“We know we’re not done. We still have a lot of work to do.”

Thanks to China [the source country for fentanyl but other opioids] : Here are the death statistics for 2017

3987 Overdose deaths in Canada in 2017

Nearly 4,000 Canadians died as a result of opioids in 2017, a 34-per-cent jump from the previous year. Opioid deaths are accelerating in the hardest-hit provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, with Canada’s top doctor describing the growing crisis across the country as “devastating.” In B.C. 1,399 died compared to 974 in 2016. In Alberta, there were 714 deaths in 2017 compared to 548 in 2016. In Ontario, more than 1,100 people died from opioid overdoses last year, up from 726 a year earlier.

Dealers "eradicated a small town of Canadians in just one year” said one expert. 90% of the deaths were unintentional, and 72% involved prescription or illicit fentanyl, an increase from 55% in 2016. The majority of deaths involved men.

Chinese Criminals..short stories, 2018 [Update]

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Chinese Criminals..short stories, 2018 

Italy breaks up Chinese crime ring, arrests 33

Italy ordered the arrest of 33 people for running a Chinese mafia group involved in gambling, prostitution and drugs, and which dominated the transport of Chinese goods across Europe. The group’s base was in Prato, near Florence, a hub for the textile industry where many factories are owned and run by Chinese.

Boss Naizhong Zhang, was based in Rome. He used profits from illegal activities to build a massive transport company that dominated the trucking of goods for thousands of Chinese companies. The network had members in other parts of Italy and across Europe.
Arrest warrants were issued in Rome, Milan, Padua, Paris, Madrid and Neuss, Germany. Zhang won a near-monopoly in distribution across much of Europe through threats and violence against Chinese company owners.

Monday, February 1, 2016


Chinese company accused of defrauding investors of $7.6B


Ding Ning, owner of Ezubao
BEIJING - Chinese police arrested 21 employees at China's largest online finance business on suspicion of fleecing 900,000 investors of $7.6 billion, in what could be the biggest financial fraud in Chinese history.

State broadcaster CCTV aired confessions from two former employees at Ezubao, an Anhui Province outfit that rose from obscurity to become China's largest online financing platform in the span of about 18 months.
Ezubao was the most spectacular player in a booming online investment industry that Chinese authorities have been struggling to regulate.

Firms ranging from established Internet companies such as Alibaba to virtually unknown upstarts have flooded into the business, promising higher returns than those at state-run banks, which often offer interest rates below inflation.
Ezubao promised investors that borrowers would pay back loans at interest rates between 9 per cent and 14.6 per cent, but 95 per cent of those borrowers were fictional entities created by Ezubao, a former company executive told investigators.

Ezubao’s website has been shut down and it appeared Yucheng Group’s Beijing office had been closed when Reuters reporters visited before Monday’s Xinhua report. Chinese police said they had sealed, frozen and seized the assets of Ezubao and its linked companies as part of investigations. "The truth is that it's a fraud ... it's a typical Ponzi scheme," Zhang, the associate, said in her aired confession.
http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/chinese-company-accused-of-defrauding-investors-of-7-6b-1.2759645
______________________________________________________________________
A Ponzi scheme is a fraud that pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from any actual profit.

It is named after Charles Ponzi, who simply applied the concept to the arbitrage of International Reply Coupons.
Ponzi's scheme eventually brought down six banks. His investors were practically wiped out, receiving less than 30 cents on the dollar. Investors lost about 20 million in 1920 dollars (245 million in 2015 dollars).

Bernie Madoff's similar scheme that collapsed in 2008 cost his investors about 10 billion, many times the losses of Charles Ponzi's scheme.
Investigators tried to trace Ponzi's convoluted accounts to figure out how much money he had taken and where it had gone. They never managed to untangle it and could conclude only that millions had gone through his hands. Ponzi spent the last years of his life in poverty, working occasionally as a translator.

He died in a charity hospital in Rio de Janeiro, on January 18, 1949.

Sunday, September 3, 2017


Tunnel used to smuggle Chinese from Mexico into US

Dozens of illegal migrants fleeing from US Border Patrol agents led authorities to a surprising discovery over the weekend: a tunnel under the US-Mexico border in San Diego used to bring Chinese nationals illegally into the United States. When agents headed toward them, the migrants ran toward a hole in the ground near a border fence. The hole was covered with a few branches and a wooden ladder led down to an underground passageway to Mexico. Agents detained 23 Chinese nationals and seven Mexicans.
Human smugglers are cashing in from Chinese nationals who pay up to US$20,000 a person to be brought from their homeland to the United States. Detentions of Chinese nationals crossing the border in the San Diego area has jumped from just four in 2013 to 861 last year.
US authorities plan to seal the tunnel with cement.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Chinese bank claims fugitive bought B.C. real estate


13097-28th Ave, Surrey
A major Chinese bank has obtained a court order in B.C. freezing the assets of a businessman accused of fleeing China and buying "luxury" Lower Mainland homes after defaulting on a $10 million loan.

In an application brought before a B.C. Supreme Court judge last week, lawyers for China CITIC Bank claim Shibiao Yan and his wife bought more than $8 million worth of properties in Surrey and Vancouver over a three-month period beginning in June 2014.
Shibiao Yan owns three multi-million dollar properties in a Vancouver suburb and resides in a C$3 million Vancouver home owned by his wife, according to court documents.

The court case comes amid speculation about the role of offshore money from wealthy Chinese in driving the out-of-control Lower Mainland real estate market. Last year, Canada's anti-money laundering watchdog FINTRAC claimed to have stepped up enforcement activities in Vancouver's real estate market
According to the lawsuit, China CITIC Bank is seeking repayment for a line of credit worth 50 million yuan, or roughly $7.5 million, taken out by a Chinese lumber company and personally guaranteed by Yan, who was the company's majority shareholder at the time.
Housing prices have jumped 30 percent in the last year.
China Citic Bank is controlled by the Citic Group, which in turn is directly controlled by the State Council, China's cabinet. It has been accused of facilitating the movement of currency overseas. "It is not an illegal business," said one source. It is reported to be a very lucrative business.
Under Chinese law, citizens are allowed to take only the equivalent of US$50,000 out of the country each year.

Monday, March 21, 2016


China retrieves ship caught fishing illegally in Indonesia

Indonesia on Monday protested the Chinese coast guard's retrieval of a ship while it was detained for fishing illegally in Indonesian waters. An Indonesian fisheries ministry patrol ship had intercepted the Chinese vessel on Saturday within Indonesia's exclusive economic zone which overlaps with the southernmost reaches of the South China Sea. Eight crewmen were detained.
The fishing vessel Kway Fey was being towed when a Chinese coastguard vessel collided with it, allowing its escape.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said China's coast guard "violated our sovereignty" and called on China to respect international law. China's expansive claims to most of the South China Sea have raised tensions with several Southeast Asian countries, especially as China reclaims land on reefs and builds infrastructure in disputed areas.
Authorities are concerned China might enlarge its claims to include Indonesia's Natuna Islands. Indonesia's military chief has said it was strengthening its forces there.

Indonesia has destroyed dozens of foreign ships for illegally fishing in its waters, and called on Beijing to stand against illegal and unregulated fishing.

See ----->http://neer-do-well-hall-of-infamey.blogspot.ca/2016/03/us-sees-new-chinese-activity-around.html
See ----->http://neer-do-well-hall-of-infamey.blogspot.ca/2016/03/us-sends-aircraft-carrier-destroyers-to.html
See ----->http://neer-do-well-hall-of-infamey.blogspot.ca/2016/02/chinese-deploy-surface-to-air-missles.html

Friday, April 27, 2018


US targets Chinese fentanyl kingpin Jian Zhang with sanctions

The US Treasury named Chinese fentanyl supplier Jian Zhang, of Shanghai, as a major global trafficker, ships mainly to Canada. Designating Zhang under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act allows it to go after his financial interests around the world. Zhang was already indicted last October as part of a joint US-Chinese law enforcement investigation into trade in fentanyl.
Attorney-General Jeff Sessions said most of the fentanyl distributed in the United States comes from China, and is shipped either through the mail or smuggled across the southern border. He said the Chinese had cooperated with US investigators in the case.


Thursday, May 19, 2016


China sending nuclear-armed submarines into South China Sea

The Chinese military is poised to send submarines armed with nuclear missiles into the Pacific Ocean for the first time, arguing that new US weapons systems have so undermined Beijing’s existing deterrent force that it has been left with no alternative. They point to plans unveiled in March to station the US Thaad anti-ballistic system in South Korea, and the development of hypersonic glide missiles potentially capable of hitting China less than an hour after launch, as huge threats to the effectiveness of its land-based deterrent force.

A recent Pentagon report to Congress predicted that “China will probably conduct its first nuclear deterrence patrol sometime in 2016”
Last Tuesday, a US spy plane and two Chinese fighter jets came close to colliding 50 miles off Hainan island, where China’s four Jin-Class ballistic missile submarines are based. A fifth is under construction.

Each Jin submarine can carry up to 12 ballistic missiles.
Behind the ominous warnings is growing concern in the People’s Liberation army that China’s relatively small nuclear arsenal (estimated at 260 warheads compared with 7,000 each for the US and Russia), made up mostly of land-based missiles, is increasingly vulnerable to a devastating first strike, by either nuclear or conventional weapons.

See ----->http://neer-do-well-hall-of-infamey.blogspot.ca/2016/05/chinese-fighter-jets-carry-out-unsafe.html
See ----->http://neer-do-well-hall-of-infamey.blogspot.ca/2016/04/china-lands-military-aircraft-on-fiery.html
See ----->http://neer-do-well-hall-of-infamey.blogspot.ca/2016/03/us-sees-new-chinese-activity-around.html
See ----->http://neer-do-well-hall-of-infamey.blogspot.ca/2016/03/us-sends-aircraft-carrier-destroyers-to.html

Thursday, May 12, 2016


Chinese fighter jets carry out an "unsafe" intercept of a US military aircraft

Two Chinese fighter jets carried out an "unsafe" intercept of a US military reconnaissance aircraft over the South China Sea, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, drawing a rebuke from Beijing, which demanded that Washington end surveillance near China.

The incident, likely to increase tension in and around the contested waterway, took place on Tuesday as the US maritime patrol aircraft carried out "a routine US patrol," a Pentagon statement said.

The incident took place in international airspace on Tuesday with the jets coming within 50 feet of the patrol aircraft. The encounter comes a week after China scrambled fighter jets as a U.S. Navy ship sailed close to a disputed reef in the South China Sea. China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the U.S. statement was "not true"

"We demand that the United States immediately cease this type of close reconnaissance activity to avoid having this sort of incident happening again," Hong said, adding that the actions of the Chinese aircraft were "completely in keeping with safety and professional standards".
While the precise location of the encounter is not yet known, regional military attaches and experts say the southern Chinese coast is a military area of increasing sensitivity for Beijing. Its submarine bases on Hainan are home to an expanding fleet of nuclear-armed submarines and a big target for on-going Western surveillance operations.
The Guangdong coast is also believed to be home to some of China's most advanced missiles, including the DF-21D anti-ship weapon

Thursday, June 16, 2016


Police detain 3 men in latest Chinese air rage incidents

Chinese police have detained a man over an attack on an airline check-in clerk that left her lying in a pool of blood and arrested two others who charged the cockpit as their flight was taxiing for takeoff.

The man had apparently been enraged after the clerk told him she couldn't print out his friend's travel itinerary without the man's ID card.

The incidents are the latest in a long series of dangerous acts involving Chinese airline travellers who have developed a reputation for being difficult and often violent.

A statement from the Civil Aviation Administration of China said two men aboard a Hainan Airlines flight on Sunday demanded to be upgraded to business class as their flight was taxiing.

When told to remain seated, they fought with a member of the cabin crew and a passenger who tried to help, then pounded on the cockpit door. They continued to kick and punch after police boarded the flight and had to be removed in handcuffs, the CAAC said. They now face criminal charges for obstruction, it said.

Monday, June 6, 2016


Chinese envoy warns Canada airing human-rights issues a threat


Ambassador Luo Zhaohui
China’s ambassador in Ottawa is urging Canadians not to be “blinded” by their differences with his country over human rights and miss the opportunity to achieve what he calls a golden era in bilateral relations, including a possible free-trade deal.

Published on The Globe and Mail’s website Sunday, Ambassador Luo Zhaohui touted last week’s visit to Ottawa of Foreign Minister Wang Yi as an important step in boosting mutually beneficial relations. Wang sparked controversy during a press conference when he lashed out at a reporter for questioning the country’s human-rights record. The Chinese had earlier demanded a visit with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which it eventually received.

Wang Yi
The ambassador echoed Mr. Wang’s concern about journalists who ignore China’s “tremendous and universally recognized achievements” in human rights and focus only on its problems. To do so, he warned, risks undermining hopes of the two governments to enhance China-Canada relations.

At a news conference last week, Mr. Wang berated the reporter after she asked a question about China’s human-rights record and the imprisonment of Canadian missionary Kevin Garratt. On the global stage, Chinese leaders have often bristled at foreign criticism and used the threat of damaged economic relations to quell it.
China wants to begin negotiations on a bilateral free-trade agreement. But before talks can start, Ottawa must approve an oil-sands export pipeline through British Columbia, and roll back restrictions on state-owned companies buying oil-sands assets.

The Canada China Business Council estimates a free-trade pact could boost Canadian exports by $7.7-billion by 2030 and create an additional 25,000 Canadian jobs. But critics worry such a deal would be one-sided. Canada had a $46-billion trade deficit with China last year, importing manufactured goods and exporting raw materials and agricultural products.