Thursday, May 14, 2020

EDITORIAL: Canadians send Trudeau wake-up call on China

EDITORIAL: Canadians send Trudeau wake-up call on China

What’s it going to take for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government to stop behaving like they’re in favour of all things China?
Maybe a new opinion poll from Angus Reid Institute will help.
It found, according to the Sun report on the poll, that “just 14% of Canadian adults have a favourable attitude towards China, about half as high as it was from six months ago, where it stood at 29%.”
That’s a pretty low number. Then again, it shouldn’t be a surprise.
Support for China first plummeted after they took Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor hostage for arbitrary reasons. It has only gone down further after China’s secrecy, poor communications and other actions led to the worsening of the spread of the coronavirus around the world.
“The study also found just 11% say Canada should focus its trade efforts on China, down from 40% in 2015, and 76% say Canada should prioritize human rights and the rule of law over economic opportunity,” the Sun report continues.
That’s serious. That means Canadians want to be making these decisions based on principle when it comes to China, more than based on a pursuit of the almighty dollar.
This is inspiring news to those Canadians who have long cautioned the country against closer ties with Beijing.
There have been many Chinese dissidents and Canadians of Chinese heritage who have tried to warn their fellow Canadians about the authoritarian Communist leadership.
These warnings seemed to fall on deaf ears at the level of the Prime Minister’s Office. Justin Trudeau has previously said he admires China’s “basic dictatorship” and has repeatedly shied away from criticizing the Xi Jinping regime.
We need more than criticism though. We need action.
The Liberals are still dithering over the Huawei decision, one that should have been made a long time ago. Many experts, academics and former diplomats have cautioned against letting the Chinese tech giant play a role in building Canada’s 5G telecommunications infrastructure. U.S. officials have urged us not to.
Now that the pandemic has only heightened Canadians’ concerns about China, Trudeau will need to pivot and decouple Canada from China.
If he can’t or won’t do it, then Canadians may opt for another Prime Minister who can.

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