Saturday, April 21, 2018
China connection persists/Canada
China Connection Persists
By Leo Knight
REVELATIONS concerning the connections Prime Minister Jean Chretien has to CITIC, the investment arm of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), seems to have stirred up the emotions of a great many of you.
Good. That is as it should be.
But there's oh, so much more than what was reported in this space two weeks ago.
Chretien's son-in-law, Andre Desmarais runs the huge Quebec-based Power Corp. He also holds a seat on the board of CITIC, described as the investment arm of the PLA and, through its subsidiaries, one of the largest, if not the largest, manufacturers of weaponry and armaments in the world. Need weapons for a small war to crush the democratically elected government, Burma? No problem, call CITIC. Pakistan developing nuclear weapons? No sweat. CITIC's right there to help out. Hey Saddam, how've ya been?
Also on the board is Li Ka-Shing, one of the world's wealthiest men and mentioned in both Canadian and American intelligence reports as connected to the Triads in Hong Kong and the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Classified RCMP intelligence reports described and alleged Li to be one of the most powerful gangsters in the world in the late 1980s. In fact, the Royal Hong Kong Police asked CSIS to investigate Li here in Canada in 1988 and the request was officially denied. Now, why do you suppose that happened?
Indeed, U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said, "The U.S. Bureau of Export Affairs, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the Rand Corporation ... have identified Li Ka-Shing and Hutchison Whampoa (Li's primary business) as financing or serving as a conduit for Communist China's military for them to acquire sensitive technologies and other equipment."
You'll also recall from the discussion two weeks ago, that Li owns Gordon Securities, the company Chretien worked for during his brief sojourn from politics while John Turner was leader of the federal Liberals. A time period during which the PM made himself a tidy little fortune.
Desmarais was appointed to the board of CITIC in 1997 and this past spring secured 4% of the Chinese company.
I should also tell you at this point, that Li was involved in initially setting up CITIC back in the late 1970s.
Li and Macao gambling tycoon, Stanley Ho, (he of the palatial monstrosity at the entrance to Stanley Park) were two primary targets in the now abandoned joint CSIS/RCMP project Sidewinder.
The closure of the Sidewinder project has resulted in accusations of political interference from the Prime Minister's Office, which are now supposedly being investigated by the CSIS civilian watchdog agency SIRC. Their report, initially due this month, has now been delayed until some time late in the year at best.
Investigators with the RCMP are suggesting this is due to the upcoming trade mission to the PRC by Chretien and sponsored by a Chinese/Canadian business organization that Desmarais also has a hand in. Chretien is scheduled to be the keynote speaker to the group while in the PRC in November.
As a side note, this trade mission, not to be confused with just another junket, is the seventh such trip in as many years by Chretien. Despite all the ballyhoo whenever these trips are done, all the phony contract signings depicted as though they are the direct result of the hard work done on these junkets, uhh, trade missions, the trade imbalance between the two countries is still huge. In fact, the trade deficit between Canada and the PRC stands at a whopping $6,260,967,000.
Back to the SIRC report. One of the members of SIRC and responsible for determining whether the PMO interfered in Project Sidewinder, is former Ontario premier, Bob Rae. You know the guy who single-handedly destroyed the economy of the industrial heartland of Canada. No easy feat either. The same Bob Rae, who has recently been in the news for mediating, so to speak, the lobster dispute in Burnt Church. Just can't seem to keep his snout out of the government trough.
Bob's brother may be the source of some of the government largesse he receives. You see, Bob's brother John, is the campaign manager and senior adviser to none other than Jean Chretien. He is also a senior executive in Power Corp.
He is a very powerful back room boy with the federal Liberals and part of a small circle of people who really run this country.
Now Bob Rae, while he occupied the office of the Premier of Ontario, is believed to have met Li and Ho.
In fact, he and his party is believed to have benefited from political donations emanating from Canadian companies controlled by both Li and Ho, the very thing Sidewinder was investigating.
Now follow me here:
Project Sidewinder was investigating political corruption and influence peddling by Asian gangsters and businessmen acting as agents of the government of the PRC. Sidewinder was shut down prematurely and all associated documentation was ordered shredded. Investigators screamed political interference by the PMO.
A sanitized version of Sidewinder is produced under the code name "Echo." The real version was not all destroyed as it was ordered to be. Li and Ho were primary targets. Li sits with PM's son-in-law on the board of CITIC. Li employed the PM prior to his election to that office.
Public reports on the Sidewinder scandal force SIRC to announce a review. One of the people responsible for the review is directly connected to the PM's close circle. He also may have benefited from the very type of influence peddling and corruption Sidewinder was about while in office. He also directly represents the government on issues like Burnt Church.
The SIRC report is inexplicably delayed just while the PM is planning another trade mission to China set up by his son-in-law.
There's a whole lot more than this space allows. So excuse me while I go and check the legal definition of "conflict of interest" and "breach of trust."