Does anyone remember when then Liberal Leader, Justin Trudeau, on the campaign trail told members of a women’s group that the country he admired most was China. "There's a level of admiration I actually have for China. Their basic dictatorship is actually allowing them to turn their economy around on a dime." Most Canadian politicians when asked this question would have immediately said “Canada.” Only Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his ideologically-driven left wing, Liberal mind, would back China and to make it worse he expressed his direct admiration for their "basic dictatorship" which might explain why he wants to unilaterally change the rules of our Parliament. While other Western countries are increasingly nervous about China’s behavior in the region, John McCallum, a former long-time Liberal Minister of the Crown, and now our Ambassador, is reportedly following his boss’s admiration for China’s “basic dictatorship” and offering to do “even more” than we already do on issues such as trade, extradition, and increase relations.

To be fair, it may have been a slip of the tongue by the Ambassador, McCallum is the former Defence Minister who mixed up our military victory at Vimy in 1917, with the French Nazi-collaborationist regime of Vichy, but I suspect that it is a direct statement of government policy. Trudeau and the Liberals are going to climb into bed with China’s “basic dictatorship.” Canadians will likely remember when the Trudeau government had a fence erected across from the Westin Hotel in downtown Ottawa in 2016 so that the delegation of Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, would not have to look at protestors during their stay in the nation’s capital. Canadians will also likely remember when both the Westin Hotel and the RCMP confirmed the wall was not built for security reasons. Will Canadian journalists forget when China's visiting Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, publicly berated a Canadian journalist, Amanda Connolly, for asking a question about his country's human rights record and the imprisonment of Canadian, Kevin Garratt, on charges of espionage. You will likely recall at the time that our former Foreign Minister Mr. Dion stood by and said nothing. Later under pressure Prime Minister Trudeau said in as milk-toasty a way as he could, that Canada was “dissatisfied” with the way China treated our journalists.

Observers of international affairs, and our fifth estate might well be wise to advise caution to the Trudeau government and its approach to Canada China relations. There are likely great trade deals to be had, and engaging China as a strategic partner and pushing for enhanced relations between China and the West is a laudable goal against, for instance, Russian President, Vladimir Putin. But I am always reminded of the things China wants in return for trade and close friendship and it makes me a little bit queasy. Increased extradition of Chinese nationals, people China claims as “nationals” and Canadian dual citizens should be a matter of concern to all Canadians of Chinese, Taiwanese, Tibetan, and Hong Kong background. Then there are Canadians who are members of the Falun Gong that China openly harasses here in Canada.

There is also the general human rights picture in China that routinely carries out state executions of prisoners for almost any crime that they choose, and then there are the shadowy reports of their organs being harvest for sale to the highest bidder. There are those that are sent away to prison for re-education. Then there is the issue of Chinese espionage and foreign influence in Canada where “more” is not better. China’s unilateral declaration that it owns the South China Sea, and its island building campaign in international waters also presents Canada with difficulties. As does China’s on-going intimidation of its neighbors including Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea, India, and Japan. The list could go on. My advice to Prime Minister Trudeau so eager to follow in daddy’s footsteps is to exercise caution in his liberalization of Canada-Chinese relations and accommodation of China’s demands in Canada and abroad. What is Trudeau and his government going to do in a broadened extradition regime, if China demands the return to China of a visiting Taiwanese Minister or the Dalai Lama? How are they going to square it with their comrades in China, if the Liberals say no? An honest relationship between friends, is much better than a cozy one with a Hegemon. 

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