Thursday, July 27, 2017

Terry Glavin: The Liberals' new China policy: We can't beat em, so let's join them!

Terry Glavin: The Liberals' new China policy: We can't beat em, so let's join them!

What has happened to politics in the United States is genuinely shocking. What is happening in Canada has been going on for so long that it has become normalized

AP Photo / Mark Schiefelbein
Image result for Terry Glavin: The Liberals' new China policy: We can't beat em, so let's join them!
Image result for Terry Glavin: The Liberals' new China policy: We can't beat em, so let's join them!
“There is a saying that if you can’t beat them, join them.”
That was the telling choice of words former Liberal cabinet minister Martin Cauchon settled on back in November 2011 in greeting the news that Huawei Canada, the subsidiary of an opaquely-governed Chinese telecommunications conglomerate long encumbered by its reported links to China’s military and intelligence services, was beefing up its Ottawa operations thanks to a $6.5 million Ontario government grant.
Bested by NDP leader Tom Mulcair at the polls only a few months earlier in the Montreal riding of Outremont, Cauchon was by then already embarking on a no doubt lucrative career in blue-chip dealmaking in China. Cauchon is now a vice-president of the Canada China Business Council, where you’ll also find Scott Bradley, the Liberal Party candidate defeated in the same May 2011 federal election in the riding of Ottawa Centre, now serving on the Council’s board. Bradley is also now a vice-president of Huawei Canada.
'There is a saying that if you can't beat them, join them'

Five years ago, Huawei Technologies was caught supplying dissident-tracking telecommunications equipment to the Khomeinist regime in Tehran via its Iranian corporate partners, who were found to have entered into contracts with the terrorist-listed Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. As a result, the U.S. House Intelligence Committee concluded that Huawei presented national security risks to the United States.
At the time, Stephen Harper’s Conservative government invoked a “national security exemption” in its hiring of firms to build a secure federal communications network. Harper refused repeated requests to publicly disclose whether Huawei had been disqualified from tendering bids.
Despite the efforts of the Canada China Business Council, the Chinese embassy in Ottawa, and Scott Bradley’s own cajolings on behalf of Huawei (he handles the company’s dealings with the government), Canada’s intelligence community still hasn’t been persuaded to welcome the prospect of Huawei consummating its intimacies with Canada’s federal cyber-structure.
Our intelligence community still hasn't welcomed Huawei consummating its intimacies with Canada's federal cyber-structure

This has caused Lu Shaye, China’s ambassador, to snipe that national-security concerns about Huawei should be dismissed as “trade protectionism.” Well, Chinese diplomats snipe about a lot of things, and besides, Huawei’s case isn’t being helped by a fiscal authorization bill that was put to the U.S. House of Representatives last month.
The proposed law would bar the Pentagon from buying any sensitive equipment from Russian suppliers — not surprising, given the consensus of U.S. intelligence agencies that the Kremlin employed active measures in hacking the Democratic National Committee with a view to aiding Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential elections. Investigations proceed in the grave matter of whether Trump or his officials colluded with Russia. The recriminations and partisan blood-feuding have come close to paralyzing the U.S. government.
But the bill would also bar the U.S. Defence Department from contracting any equipment from Huawei or ZTE Corp — the subsidiary of another telecom giant with similarly shadowy affiliations that is also headquartered in Shenzhen, China. It was in Shenzhen in 1987 that Huawei was founded by Ren Zhengfei, a former People’s Liberation Army officer who went on to combine his entrepreneurial acumen with his top-drawer Communist Party connections to become one of China’s richest men.
All of this is just a minor illustration of the pervasive obscenity attending to relations with Beijing
In March, ZTE pleaded guilty to engaging in a complex conspiracy to evade U.S. sanctions laws by secretly incorporating American-made components in ZTE telecommunications equipment and shipping the products on to Iran. The plea bargain came with a $900 million fine. Although never convicted and always adamant about their innocence, Huawei subsidiaries have been swept up in several U.S. Commerce Department investigations over the years. This continues to cast a pall over Huawei’s operations in Canada.
While this is all very intriguing, it’s still just a minor illustration of the pervasive obscenity attending to relations with Beijing that are undertaken according to what you could call the Cauchon Axiom: If you can’t beat them, join them. Given the depths of pro-Beijing sycophancy in that revolving door of veteran Liberal party figures, China trade lobbyists and senior Foreign Affairs and International Trade mandarins, it’s a question worth asking: Are we even trying to beat them any more, or have we just decided to “join them”?
No matter how loathsome and socially unhygienic the Donald Trump administration may be, the forensics to date have turned up only a sordid web of clandestine indecencies committed by a bestiary of ghastly American and Russian grifters, liars, kleptocrats and goons. It is not as though Trump has marshalled the resources of the State Department and the Commerce Department to negotiate a free trade agreement with the Kremlin or anything.
It's not like Trump has marshalled the State and Commerce departments to negotiate a free trade agreement with the Kremlin

One might well wonder what fresh hell may be discovered by the various investigators poking around the White House for evidence of Russia’s corrupting influences, but in Canada, we leave nothing to the imagination. It’s all out in the open. Beijing’s corrupting influences reach from fundraising banquets to formal lunches to stakeholder committee meetings. What has happened in the United States is genuinely shocking. What is happening in Canada has been going on for so long that it has become normalized. It’s in plain sight, so nobody notices.
It was U.S. President Barack Obama who began the folly of a full American retreat from “the world stage” in 2008, maintaining a credible American commitment only to those global superstructures Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland rightly cited, in her June 6 speech to the House of Commons, as the fountainheads of Canada’s 20th century peace and prosperity. The World Trade Organization, the G7, the G20, NATO, the United Nations and so on.
But the benefits of global trade have been offered on an equal basis to democracies and despotisms alike. Recep Erdogan has been permitted to transform Turkey — a NATO ally, still — into a neo-Ottoman nightmare zone. With Bashar Assad invited to cross Obama’s “red line” on poison gas, the Kremlin saw no downside to assisting the White House and no proper punishment, either, for invading Ukraine and annexing Crimea.
What is happening in Canada has been going on for so long that it has become normalized

With American sanctions lifted, and with the Kremlin’s assistance, Khomeinist Iran and Hezbollah have turned Syria into a graveyard. The Saudis have turned Yemen into a slaughterhouse. The socialist paradise of Venezuela has been in an uproar of bloody riots every day for the past three months.
Under the iron fist of Xi Jinping, the Chinese people have been force-marched back into the darkest moments before Tiananmen. The regime in Beijing has gone into hyperdrive in its efforts to persuade the rest of the world that this is how things must be. Beijing is now spending at least $7 billion a year, by the estimates of Christopher Walker, a vice-president of the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington D.C., on outward propaganda, to “make friends” in the democracies. To encourage cultural exchanges. To engage the news media, to further these ends. 
“Taken together,” Walker reckons, ” the forces working against democracy are more powerful than at any time since the end of the Cold War.” And a significant body of opinion around Ottawa appears to contend that we can’t beat them, after all, so we might as well join them.