Keeping an eye on Communist, Totalitarian China, and its influence both globally, and we as Canadians. I have come to the opinion that we are rarely privy to truth regarding the real goal, the agenda of Red China, and it's implications for Canada [and North America as a whole]. No more can we rely on our media as more and more information on China is actively being swept under the carpet - not for consumption.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Douglas Todd: What does China want in Canada?
Douglas Todd: What does China want in Canada?
DOUGLAS TODD(Vancouver Sun)
Published: July 27, 2017
Updated: August 01, 2017 7:48 PM
The Province > News > Metro Vancouver
Summer zoo activities at Grouse Mountain Resorts, a ski and recreation centre that has just been bought by a conglomerate from China. FRANCIS GEORGIAN / VANCOUVER SUN
China’s Anbang Insurance spent $1.2 billion on four noted Bentall Towers in downtown Vancouver. / VANCOUVER SUN
It’s a legendary ski resort perched on top of the mountains above Metro Vancouver, visible to all denizens below.
The reported purchase of Grouse Mountain Resort is one of many recent sweeping real estate deals in Canada coming out of the authoritarian Communist nation of 1.3 billion people.
In light of China’s buying spree, perhaps it’s little surprise a new Pew Research poll says Canadians, unlike Americans and Latin Americans, now believe the populous East Asian nation is the “most powerful country in the world.”
What does China want from Canada?
And should Canadians, contrary to their welcoming prime minister, be worried about China’s interest in this land, particularly its urban real estate?
No Canadian region is more impacted by Mainland Chinese capital than Metro Vancouver, a relatively small city of 2.5 million.
In 2015 alone, the National Bank of Canada estimated buyers from China poured $13 billion into Metro Vancouver real estate, one third of the total. Vancouver Sun and Province reporter Sam Cooper follows the flow of such money, a portion of which is illicit and often ignored by Canadian officials.
In addition to the sale of B.C. golf courses and marquee hotels, the reported sale of Grouse Mountain Resort comes on the heels of China’s Anbang Insurance spending $1.2 billion on four noted Bentall Towers in downtown Vancouver.
Anbang also poured $90 million into leasing the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel, and recently snapped up Vancouver-based Retirement Concepts, one of the province’s largest retirement-home chains.
Anbang comes with no shortage of intrigue. It not only has close ties to the political elite of the People’s Republic of China, in June Chinese authorities detained Anbang’s chairman amid a crackdown on corruption. He’s disappeared.
So much for national sovereignty. So much for protecting Canadian politicians from outside money.
I have some respect for what Mainland China has accomplished in two decades — aggressively expanding into the second largest economy in the world, constructing massive infrastructure and confronting grave ecological challenges.
China is also trying, in a convoluted way, to restrict the money rich Chinese are sneaking out of their country. Beijing is attempting to impose strict limits on how much its multimillionaires can privately invest in foreign real estate.
This, even while China’s human rights abuses are too numerous to mention.
All in all, it’s naive to think China’s interest in Canada is completely harmless.
We should not deny the myriad ways the corporate arms of any superpower, like the U.S., can externally influence a medium power like Canada.
Meanwhile, in June, China signed an agreement with Canada saying it will stop conducting state-sponsored cyberattacks to steal Canadian private-sector trade secrets.
China’s pledge is strangely limited, though. It only purports to stop the hacking of corporations. It doesn’t stop China from conducting state-sponsored cyberattacks against the Canadian government or military.
Which is what it did in 2014, when Chinese hackers broke into the main computers at the country’s National Research Council.
China’s numerous breaches of Canadian security echo the warnings in an earlier secret report by the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, which was buried.
The Sidewinder Project concluded in the late 1990s that “China remains one of the greatest ongoing threats to Canada’s national security and Canadian industry.”
Trudeau has made it much easier for foreigners to buy up Canadian real estate and companies, by increasing the threshold at which foreign takeovers will be reviewed — to $1 billion.
Despite a recent Nanos poll showing most Canadians didn’t want to sell our high-tech companies to China, Trudeau’s public-relations efforts have convinced a slight majority of Canadians to support his pursuit of a free-trade agreement with Beijing.
There are pockets of resistance, however.
The federal NDP has called for reducing the threshold amount for foreign takeovers, to protect Canadian jobs and ensure offshore deals benefit most Canadians.
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is opposing a trade deal between China and Canada, citing concerns about human rights, labour standards and state-connected Chinese companies.
Giving China preferential access to the Canadian market “would threaten the jobs of workers and businesses in this country,” said Scheer, saying Trudeau is trying to “appease” China.
It almost sounds as if Canada is preparing to have another debate about sovereignty.
That’s what happened more than two decades ago over the North American Free Trade Agreement, which didn’t exactly lead to average Canadians gaining more control over their futures.
How much does sovereignty count for Canadians, particularly in regards to China’s influence over the residential real estate market; over the basic human need of housing?
How large an opening do Canadians want to give another superpower?