Monday, December 4, 2017

Terry Glavin: The Liberals Are Dangerously Wrong on China. They Always Have Been

Terry Glavin: The Liberals are dangerously wrong on China. They always have been

Trudeau is prepared for more of the same collaboration and connivance with this monstrous gangster state, only strengthened, and 'even greater'

Canada's Prime Minister Pierre E. Trudeau, right, shakes hands with this much admired fascist murderer, Mao Zedong on Oct.13,1973. The two met at Chungnanhai while Trudeau was on an official visit to China. CP Photo

Now that Canada has lately become notoriously and uniquely supine among the G7 countries in its dealings with the increasingly bellicose and tyrannical regime in Beijing, and with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau again jetting off to China, the usual background noise of humbug, half-truth and outright lies will be at full volume. It is very much an open question whether there is something either preposterously naive or scandalous and sinister underlying the Trudeau government’s unseemly enthusiasm for the Chinese Communist Party leadership, but for the moment, let’s set that question aside and just focus on the propaganda we’re being expected to stomach.
Xi Jinping shakes hands with Justin Trudeau ahead of their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on August 31, 2016. WU HONG/AFP/Getty Images
We can start with the premise for the visit, as articulated by Prime Minister Trudeau himself. “A strong relationship with China is essential to creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, and growing the Canadian economy.” This is of course the kind of boilerplate that anyone should be capable of recognizing as hogwash on methamphetamines, but never mind that. Let’s not even entertain any speculation about how loudly President Xi Jinping and his ministers will laugh at Trudeau’s comical claim that a “closer relationship” will mean “more opportunity to hold regular, frank dialogue on human rights issues like good governance, freedom of speech, and the rule of law.” Under Xi’s tyranny, Beijing has dropped all pretence that it is on some long march to the rule of law and democracy. But let’s not dwell on that.
Bizarrely, not even a mention of the Canada-China free trade agreement that Trudeau’s government has been so obsessively trying to convince us all to want. Never mind. Let’s look only at this: “I look forward to meeting again with China’s leaders to strengthen our relationship and set the stage for even greater trade and investment co-operation.”
So, more of the same collaboration and connivance with this monstrous murderous gangster state, only strengthened, and “even greater.” And of course it’s all about “strengthening the middle class.” 
Okay then. How’s that been working out? 
So more connivance with this monstrous murderous gangster state
After all these years, Canada’s annual exports to China amount to a mere $20 billion — only slightly more than we export to Britain — compared to the nearly $300 billion worth of trade we send to the United States, our first-place trading partner. Canada’s annual imports from the United States hover around the $280 billion mark, compared to the $66 billion in sweatshop production we import from China, as reliably calculated by the otherwise absurdly pro-Beijing Asia Pacific Foundation. Even Trudeau’s characterization of China as Canada’s “second largest” trading partner is merely a reiteration of a kind of popular fiction. For one thing, to put China in second place you’d have to wholly ignore Europe. Even though Canada’s free trade deal with the European Union hasn’t fully kicked in, the annual Canada-EU trade has already surpassed the $100 billion mark — far higher than the volume of Canada-China traffic — and it’s trade that’s governed by environmental and labour standards that are entirely absent in China’s wage-slave ecological nightmare zones.
Xi Jinping gestures to Justin Trudeau, 31 August 2016. WU HONG/AFP/Getty Images
In any case, as a “trade partner,” Beijing, with its many friendly corporate dependencies in Canada, has behaved from the outset more like an embezzler. Canada’s current trade deficit with China, already in the range of $45 billion and growing, is up from less than $200 million in the days before the notoriously obsequious Beijing sycophant Jean Chrétien occupied the Prime Minister’s Office and kicked the whole racket into high gear at the start. To be so dense as to believe the propaganda churned out by Chrétien acolyte François-Philippe Champagne, the rookie Quebec MP who has now somehow ended up as International Trade Minister, you would have to entirely ignore the damage Beijing’s penetration of the Canadian economy has already done.
In a recent analysis prepared for Global Affairs Canada, Ottawa’s Centre for the Study of Living Standards calculates that at least 150,000 Canadian jobs were lost to Chinese imports during the first decade of this century, and at least 100,000 of those jobs were in manufacturing. But China is fabulously rich, right? Well, no. If China’s wealth were spread evenly throughout its population of 1.3 billion, by the calculations of the International Monetary Fund the Chinese people would still be poorer than the people of Equatorial Guinea and only slightly wealthier than the people of Botswana. But the Chinese government has lifted more than 300 million people out of abject poverty in recent years, hasn’t it? Doesn’t the regime deserve credit for that? 
Beijing has behaved from the outset more like an embezzler
Only if you ignore the fact that the feat was accomplished by merely easing back on the Maoist collectivization of the economy that had induced a famine that killed roughly 45 million people during the 1958-62 Great Leap Forward — a vast crime against humanity that Justin’s father Pierre strangely failed to even notice at the time, while he was touring the country and swanning around with China’s elites.
It is not as though there are no riches in China. The Communist Party elites have amassed fortunes to themselves equal to the Gross Domestic Product of Sweden. They have the money, the guns, the technology, the numbers, the UN votes, the lot. And now Beijing is openly and explicitly waging an ideological global war against democracy, the rule of law, free speech, the “rules based” global economic order, the whole schmeer. They’re quite candid about it, too. 
It is not as though there are no riches in China. The elites have amassed fortunes
There is much that might be done, even in the absence of an American presidency commanded by a sane person, to at least curb Beijing’s ravenous appetite for global hegemony. Australia and New Zealand are desperately attempting to extricate their democracies from Beijing’s money and influence, and they’re reaching out to other liberal democracies in hopes of forging a common cause. Through the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, Japan is attempting — with no help from Trudeau’s government — to shore up a defensive economic bloc against Beijing.
But nothing Trudeau or his ministers or their friends in the Canada-China trade lobby have ever said or done suggests that they have the slightest inkling of the implications of cultivating such intimacies with Beijing as Trudeau says he desires. Even worse, you can look back over the past 30 years, and all of the shiny forecasts about trade with China, every premise of every policy, all of it, has been wrong. The Chrétien-Trudeau Liberal grandees have not been right once in 30 years. Not once.
You want to believe them now?
“A strong relationship with China is essential to creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, and growing the Canadian economy,” Trudeau says.
Here is a modest proposition then: No. It is not.
National Post

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