Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What Trudeau should do in China

What Trudeau should do in China


MONDAY, AUGUST 29, 2016 
Trudeau plane
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife Sophie Gregoire, and daughter Ella-Grace wave as they board a government plane in Ottawa, Monday August 29, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his first official vis
it to China, reality squares off against his previous notorious comments.
At a Liberal fundraiser before the election, Trudeau stated:
“There’s a level of admiration I actually have for China. Their basic totalitarian dictatorship is actually allowing them to turn their economy around on a dime.”
His choice of words.
“Admiration" for a dictatorship is inappropriate when the Chinese regime is known to have harvested organs from its citizens (see reports by former Liberal secretary of state David Kilgour and lawyer David Matas), culturally suppressed minorities, including Tibetans, Mongolians and others, tossed human rights and democracy activists into jail, continued intellectual theft & cyber attacks on the west, bullying its neighbours and disregarding international rulings from UN- sanctioned tribunals.
Of course as a threat, China has an economic and military presence which requires our engagement on a series of issues.
It is a current trading partner and Canadians of Chinese origin make a some contribution to our country.
China has also taken advantage of Canada's naive openness, most significantly when it acquired Candu nuclear technology in the early 1990s.
It has used it to build a new industrial/military power, domestically, and now for the export market.
China remains a core market for our raw materials and resources such as Saskatchewan potash, Canadian lumber and other products.
We make allowances for Chinese goods and investment in oil and gas, mining, telecommunications, infrastructure, banking and other sectors.
Consequently, any new engagement with China under Trudeau will challenge even deeper our Canadian values, national interests, sovereignty  and rule of law.
Canada should advise Beijing we will not be bullied into conditions which permit temporary foreign workers from China to fill jobs in businesses which should be available to Canadians.
National security assessments must be taken into consideration when investments impact critical infrastructure such as ports in the Arctic, telecommunications, defence or the power sector.
As chair of the cabinet’s intelligence committee, the prime minister should strongly condemn Chinese espionage and cyber attacks on Canada.
Remaining silent in front of President Xi Jinping on this will send Canadians the wrong message.
We should speak out in support of our friend, Taiwan, which is finding its new, democratically-elected government subject to renewed harassment and bullying by China.
The prime minister should support conflict prevention measures by demanding President Xi to respect the Hague ruling on the South China Sea and honour resolutions in line with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
On agriculture and trade, we must respond strongly and swiftly to the recent regulatory prohibitions on Canadian canola, which place a $2 billion market at risk.
This attempt to drive prices down and hurt Canadian farmers should be met with equal penalties on Chinese imports.
Relations with China, including any potential free trade agreement, must be based on respect, not Trudeau's blind admiration.
Canada should be a partner, not a colony.
Indeed it is hard to see how a free trade deal is possible given the tenuous state of the rule of law in China.
I do wish the prime minister well on his visit, and remind him that Canadians will be watching closely to see how he champions these issues, including the rights of 300,000 dual nationals who reside in Hong Kong, and are seeking greater consular support from their government in Ottawa.
If this is a time for engagement with China, it is most definitely not a time to abandon our Canadian principles and national interests.