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.
Governor General leads Canadian push for Chinese business [into a trap]..me
Government to restart efforts to lure Chinese investment in Canadian economy
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Mike Blanchfield, Canadian Press
Published: October 13, 2013, 10:41 am
Updated: 3 weeks ago
OTTAWA — Gov. Gen. David Johnston will serve as the sharp end of a political stick that the Harper government is pointing at China this coming week, amid renewed concern that Chinese investment in Canada is drying up.
Within hours of delivering Wednesday’s throne speech in Ottawa, Johnston will be on a plane bound for the People’s Republic for his first official visit as Governor General. He’s been there about a dozen times already in a long academic career that predated his arrival at Rideau Hall.
Johnston’s China travels will also overlap with visits by two top Conservative cabinet ministers: Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver. And it will come just a week after Trade Minister Ed Fast wraps up his fourth visit to China.
Johnston said he will meet with China’s newly-installed leaders, including President Xi Jinping and premier Li Keqiang.
In an interview with The Canadian Press, Johnston was upbeat about the prospect of promoting the government’s Asia-focused economic agenda — and pushing the yardsticks forward on four decades of Canada-Sino relations.
“(It) has developed well over the last 40 years, perhaps not as quickly as some would have liked,” he said. “But I think we’re at an important hinge period where we can see some important changes in the future.”
Johnston will address the powerful Canada China Business Council’s annual general meeting in Beijing a few days after his arrival. And he said he knows energy and investment will be top of mind.
China is hungry for natural resources and Canada is eager to oblige, but there are serious obstacles, including a stalled pipeline process to carry Alberta crude to Pacific Ocean ports, as well as mixed messages about whether Canada is really open to foreign investment from so-called state-owned enterprises.
Johnston’s visit comes just two weeks after one of Harper’s most influential former cabinet ministers, Jim Prentice, warned that the government was chasing away needed foreign investment with its new regulations against state-owned enterprises buying into the oilpatch.
Prentice, now a CIBC executive, said Chinese investment has all but dried up.
Prentice said investment in the oil and gas sector so far in 2013 had plummeted to $2 billion from $27 billion during the same period last year, while mergers and acquisitions dropped to $8 billion from $66 billion.
Johnston said he would be delivering a simple message to Canadian and Chinese business leaders: “We are a trading country. We encourage foreign investment.”
From time to time there will be decisions made that will not permit a particular investment decision to go ahead
Johnston appeared to play down the fact that the Harper government has moved to curb majority acquisitions in the oilsands. It delayed approving acquisitions by China’s CNOOC and Malaysia’s Petronas last year, while amending foreign investment rules to make future deals like those far less likely.
“From time to time there will be decisions made that will not permit a particular investment decision to go ahead,” Johnston said. “If you look at the broad range of opportunities, investments, we’ve seen a lot, we’ll see more.”
Johnston said he wants to build people-to-people connections between the two countries, especially in education — a topic close to his heart not only because he has headed Canadian universities but because three of his own daughters studied in China.
Johnston said he wants to see the number of Chinese students studying at Canadian educational institutions rise to 100,000 in the next five years, up from the current 84,000.
He also suggested that Canadian business leaders should look to the recently deceased Paul Desmarais Sr. as a model for how to get ahead in China.
Desmarais, he said, began travelling to China in the early 1970s at the height of the Cultural Revolution.
“He was a pioneer. He saw the promise of China. He went there at a very difficult time. He was not fazed by the fact that there was the upheaval of the Cultural Revolution,” said Johnston, who was friends with the Power Corp. titan, who died this past week at 86.
Desmarais, he said, established close personal relationships with China’s “different leaders as they came along,” a practice that his sons have carried on.
“It’s a great example of a Canadian entrepreneur looking well beyond Canada, not simply to the United States, and well beyond the conventional markets to be a leader, and persisting in it for decades.”
Satisfying China’s need for face-to-face, high-level contact has been a hard-learned lesson for the current government — Harper was publicly chided by a former Chinese premier in 2009 for taking three years to visit — but it has clearly been internalized.
“From our perspective, it’s important to continue to go there, to maintain the dialogue. We’re building long-term relationships and you don’t do that with sporadic visits,” Oliver said in an interview.
Baird also noted that imperative when announced his trip to the interior megacities of Chengdu and Chongqing, as well as Beijing.
Baird added one more point, one that’s not a favourite topic of his Chinese counterparts.
“Throughout this visit, I will continue to promote not just Canadian interests but also our values, including the promotion of human rights and religious freedom.”
Asked how he planned to raise human rights, Johnston chose his words carefully. Would he raise specific cases of imprisoned dissidents, for instance?
Johnston said human rights is an area of “continual discussion” that has been “respectful” and will continue in the future.
BALI, Indonesia — When Ottawa rolls out a refreshed global strategy later this year there will be a greater emphasis on the role that small- and medium-sized businesses can play in Canada’s export drive.
International Trade Minister Ed Fast made that commitment during an interview after the conclusion of last week’s summit of Asia-Pacific leaders in this Indonesian beach resort.
Fast is among the lesser-known ministers in Stephen Harper’s cabinet. One reason is that the self-effacing Mennonite member of Parliament for Abbotsford, B.C., never gets in trouble. Another may be that he spends less time in Ottawa than any other minister. He devotes at least four months a year to selling the Canadian brand overseas and another four months a year to his riding.
Unlike some of the better-known ministers, who tend to be abrasive and oversee departments that harbour decidedly mixed feelings about them, Fast Eddie, as he has been called since he was a kid, has quietly established a solid relationship with the mandarins and diplomats who work for him as well as with the Canadian business community abroad.
The move that the 58-year-old lawyer has in the works to encourage smaller firms to seek international opportunities is designed to address a Canadian weakness that I have often wondered about. Even in the most unlikely places such as violence-torn Yemen, the Siberian taiga or the jungle towns of Sumatra, enterprising businessmen from countries such as Sweden, Germany and Japan tend to pop up.
Whether they are selling ball bearings, water purification systems or high-tech equipment, these salesmen from companies with as few as a couple of dozen employees come because there is money to be made. There are far fewer intrepid salesmen representing smaller Canadian firms combing the global boondocks for business. Most of the Canadian companies aggressively pursuing contracts overseas today are well established giants including Bombardier, CAE and SNC-Lavalin, as well as mining and energy companies, the big banks and insurance companies.
“The challenge is that Canadians tend to be very cautious and it takes a little bit of a push to get them to step over the line to look at opportunities outside of Canada and outside of North America for that matter,” Fast said. “There is still a lot of education that needs to take place among our SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in terms of their awareness of the trade opportunities that are all around the world.”
A survey published by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada earlier this year underlined why fighting Canadian complacency about trade involves more than convincing smaller Canadian companies to compete internationally. Canadians’ enthusiasm for trade and trade deals with Asia was found to be waning, despite Stephen Harper’s assertion that Canada’s future prosperity depends upon a much bigger trade relationship with the Orient — a top priority of his government.
Many other countries have the same notion, of course. Sounding very much like Canada’s prime minister, Australia’s new leader Tony Abbott told the Chinese representatives in Bali that “Australia was open for business.” A few days ago in Beijing, British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said that no western country was more keen to seek investment from China than his was.
Something that has so far proven elusive, and has been the subject of considerable criticism, is that Canada has yet to sign a trade agreement with any Asian nation. That logjam should finally be broken as both Canada and South Korea publicly agreed in Bali to signing a deal by the end of the year. Similar negotiations are also underway with Japan and, although still at a fairly early stage, with Thailand.
Of potentially far greater economic significance for Canada is the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The U.S. had hoped that this 12-nation accord would be ratified by the end of the year, but with Washington paralyzed by the budget showdown between the Congress and the White House, the timeline for concluding those talks has slipped into next year.
“It is comprehensive and it is complicated because you have 12 partners that are at different levels of economic maturity which makes it challenging to synthesize an agreement,” Fast said in explaining why it was taking so long to complete what he called an ambitious “21st-century” trade deal that would significantly liberalize trade.
While Canadians may be disturbingly ambivalent about the importance of doing more business with Asia, Canada’s exports to China for the first half of this year were worth $10 billion — 7.8 per cent greater than during the same period last year — while 84,000 students from China attended school in Canada.
Those big numbers explain why Fast left Bali to fly the Canadian flag in Singapore and China. He will be back in southeast Asia again in December.
TORONTO — Canadians are getting their first glimpse of the styles that the country’s Olympic athletes will be sporting in Sochi.
Official outfitterHudson’s Bay Co.unveiled the Canadian Olympic team uniforms for the 2014 Winter Games during an event in Toronto today.
As always, the patriotic new designs flaunt Canada’s colours as well as black. The collection will feature “Canada” in a vintage classic wordmark as well as imagery of the polar bear, beaver and loon.
Olympians will be sporting Canadian-made apparel: The Bay's CEO
All of the replica garments being made for consumers and a portion of clothes created for the athletes are being made in China.
After the Canadian team uniforms were unveiled ahead of the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the federal government and several opposition MPs cried foul after learning most of the clothes were manufactured by the host country — China –and not in Canada.
There was a similar flap south of the border last year. American politicians on both sides of the political aisle spoke out against the U.S. Olympic Committee’s decision to dress the country’s athletes in Chinese-made apparel for the London Games. However, it will be a different story for the U.S. Olympic team heading to Sochi.
Chinese child urinates in B.C. mall trash bin: Culture clash or rude awakening?
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Published: September 1, 2013
Updated: 2 months ago
A photo that has gone viral online of a young boy urinating into a garbage bin at a Richmond shopping mall while a woman holds him is sparking a fierce debate on social media websites over Chinese cultural norms and public etiquette.
The image, which appears to show a woman helping a child stand on the ledge of a garbage bin with his pants around his knees while he urinates, is making the rounds on Twitter and Reddit.
“#why would you let your child pee in the mall bins? They have toilets,” wrote Twitter user DonMunnu.
Both the woman and child appear to be Asian, and the image has sparked a slew of racist comments online.
The image also drew responses from some people, who identified themselves as being Chinese, writing that the woman and child were likely from mainland China, where they said urinating or defecating in public is acceptable behaviour.
“They are definitely from mainland China,” wrote one Reddit user using the handle trig14. “As a Canadian with Chinese background. .. I don’t give a s—if they did this in their own country but this is not China.”
Since the photo went viral, one person has come forward claiming that the woman is their aunt and the young boy their cousin, and that the incident has nothing to do with cultural norms.
“It’s amazing how people come to conclusions without knowing the full story,” the individual wrote in an anonymous post on Reddit, who was using a temporary “throwaway” account to “protect their identities.”
“I think it’s a shame that people put race and culture as the main reason for peoples’ actions,” the post continued.
The author wrote that their aunt noticed that their cousin had started to wet his pants without warning. The bathroom was too far away to prevent a bigger mess, and to avoid having him soaked in urine, she had no option but to use a garbage bin.
“After seeing this picture go viral with top comments being about race, I’m realizing first-hand how discussions on Reddit can sound so convincing yet can be so damaging to people,” the author wrote.
“Many of us have peed in public due to different circumstances and I don’t see everyone making a huge deal about it.”
A spokeswoman for Richmond Centre, the mall where the incident happened, said the centre is looking into the matter and ways to prevent similar incidents happening again.
“Our experience is that this type of behaviour isn’t the societal norm,” read the mall’s statement.
“Unfortunately this incident occurred so quickly that our team was only alerted after it took place.”
In the meantime, however, the image continues to be mocked on social media, which is unfortunate, said Winnie Hwo of the David Suzuki Foundation.
“I’m shocked by that picture, but I’m actually more angry with the person who took that picture to turn this into a national joke rather than helping,” said Hwo, who immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong more than 30 years ago.
Instead of using the photo as an opportunity to “stir racial tension,” Hwo said she wishes the individual who took the photo would have politely told the woman that urinating in public is not acceptable behaviour in Canada. “We need to accept that we live in a very diverse country,” said Hwo. “When something is different, we stereotype, we generalize and then we don’t accept and we resent. .. Until we change our attitude, we cannot live in a better society.”
Queenie Choo, CEO of SUCCESS, a social services agency focused on immigrant settlement in B.C., said she doesn’t believe urinating in public is a cultural norm in mainland China.
“When you go out to China and you ask people on the street if it’s acceptable to urinate in a garbage bin, nine out of 10 people will say it’s not a cultural thing,” she said.
Choo pointed out that in many areas in Vancouver, transient people who are not Asian also urinate in public but it doesn’t result in the same public outrage.
“People are drawing conclusions and I think that we’ve got to understand the situation behind it,” she said. “There is always a story behind what we have seen in the picture.”
Six months ago Richmond City council chose to do nothing about a petition protesting Chinese-dominant signs. Now one of its committees is suggesting "any wording on business signage and/or city documentation prominently include the English language." Where will this issue go from here?
People around the world, from Europe to East Asia, took note when Richmond City council decided six months ago to ignore protests against the expansion of Chinese-only and Chinese-dominant signs in its municipality of 200,000.
But some brave council members, including Chak Au, who was an assistant professor at the Chinese University in Hong Kong before immigrating to Canada, think it’s time to re-examine the controversy.
Au said council’s new tentative strategy calls for city signs to prominently include English is evidence the matter is being viewed as a priority.
Richmond city council has taken a small step into the language debate surrounding signs, six months after refusing to budge in the face of a 1,000-name petition.
Civic politicians recently approved the Richmond Social Development Strategy—a 96-page document intended to guide the city on social development matters over the next decade—but not before addressing the matter of foreign language on signs.
More Chinese signs in Richmond
As an “ongoing” measure to prevent and respond to racism, council’s planning committee added the words: “[T]hat any wording on business signage and/or city documentation prominently includes the English language.”
“It is a recognition that this is something that the city, as a leader, should have a role to play,” said Coun. Chak Au in an interview.
In March,a delegation armed with a petitionappealed to council to put a stop to the proliferation of signs with only a foreign language. Kerry Starchuk and Ann Merdinyan showed council dozens of examples of storefronts, bus shelter advertisements and real estate signs with neither one of Canada’s official languages visible.
The drive drew significant media attention,but council took no actionand decided against supporting a motion from Au asking for a closer analysis.
Now a city strategy calling for signs that prominently include English is evidence the matter is being viewed as a priority, said Au.