Friday, September 17, 2021

Rating Canadian Party Leaders on Their Plan to Deal with Communist China


Given the urgency of the situation with respect to China, there is a great need for a serious debate on how Canada will conduct itself on the world stage and its strategy in dealing with an increasingly belligerent Beijing.

During the election debate, foreign policy and China did not get much attention, which is unfortunate as the leaders’ stand should matter given the gravity of the situation.

With election day approaching, the following is a brief assessment of each leader and his position, scored from 1 to 5. A score of 5 means that the particular leader clearly monitors China’s threat and has argued for a tight stance with Beijing, while a 1 means that the leader is showing gullibility on the issue. continues.

Justin Trudeau

Since being elected, a main focus of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s foreign policy has been to rekindle ties with China and make it a strong and valuable economic partner. In a statement ahead of his first visit to China as prime minister in 2016, Trudeau said the China relationship was “essential to grow our middle class and create new opportunities for Canadian businesses.”

In addition, he said he would “strive for a closer, more balanced relationship between Canada and China – one that highlights the untapped potential in our two countries’ commercial ties and addresses critical issues such as good governance, the rule of law and the environment.” advances it.”

With the detentions of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in late 2018 and then the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Trudeau is forced to face very quickly the reality that our intentions for the communist regime in Beijing differ. This has led to a very inconsistent policy on China.

On the one hand, the Trudeau government continued to pursue a pro-engagement policy, as can be seen in its initial attempt to strike a vaccine deal with Chinese company CanSino, and continued cooperation with Huawei even after the security threat. to continue. The company’s position is clear. He also infamously dropped out on a vote in parliament to recognize the genocide of Uighur Muslims by the Chinese regime.

Trudeau, on the other hand, has so far refused to succumb to the regime’s hostage diplomacy in the Meng Wanzhou/Do Michaels case. He has also tightened his stance on China, although he has not yet backed it with any concrete action.

The issue troubling Trudeau now is the lack of a comprehensive policy to deal with China. The liberal forum doesn’t reveal much, as it really only once mentions China as part of a broader set of authoritarian regimes, along with Russia and Iran, that pose a threat. Trudeau’s answers to questions about his government’s directive on China, specifically how to release Kovrig and Spavor, also didn’t reveal much.

Score: 1.5 stars

Erin O’Toole

In her role as opposition leader and throughout this election campaign, Erin O’Toole has presented herself as the most aggressive on China of all other candidates. Through his speeches, debates in parliament and public statements, he has made it clear that he believes China is Canada’s biggest security threat in the coming decades.

As detailed in the Conservative Party forum, and as he stated when the topic was discussed during the September 9 debate, O’Toole believes Canada needs to work with its allies. Must do more to become a more reliable partner. This includes deciding on Chinese companies’ access to Canadian telecommunications, as our allies have, and becoming more self-reliant in protecting our security.

In his party’s forum, which includes an entire chapter on dealing with the Chinese regime, O’Toole makes human rights the central concern of his proposed approach to China, which seeks to protect persecuted religious minorities such as Tibetans, Uighurs and others. Stands for rights. Falun Gong practitioner. Related to this is his pledge to stop foreign interference by China, which often targets members of the Chinese expatriate community – particularly those who are activists – and his proposed measures such as a foreign registry to help stop it.

In fact, O’Toole has proven to have a very favorable record on China. If there is any flaw, it would be a defense of the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement while he was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade during the Harper years. Signed in 2012 and ratified in 2014, O’Toole and the government at the time justified the deal by saying it would help protect Canadian investments. But many of the terms clearly give the Chinese regime a disproportionate advantage, as the agreement does not encourage China to open up the way Canada is required to.

Such agreements should be addressed by leaders immediately, as their terms could give Beijing a substantial advantage in any diplomatic disagreements that will inevitably unfold in the coming years.

Score: 5 stars

Jagmeet Singh

For the most part, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has shown that he understands how the Canada-China dynamic has changed. In addition, it appears that Canada should be more strategic in important areas such as protecting human rights and working with partners to find solutions for the two Michaels.

He said in a recent interview with Global News: “I think we should do whatever it takes to pressure China to secure the release of these Canadians, using our diplomatic means and working with international allies.” You can create pressure, have to continue to apply it.”

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In addition, he has stood up for human rights by voicing support for moving the 2022 Winter Olympics outside China in response to the regime’s ongoing genocide against the Uyghur population.

He also criticized the Trudeau government for not doing enough to mitigate the damage China’s unfair trade practices do to the livelihoods of Canadian agricultural workers. Regarding China’s defeat in targeting Canada’s canola exports following Meng’s arrest, he said agricultural producers “need a government that defends them and does what is necessary to help them get through this difficult period.” Take steps.”

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However, Singh has significant weaknesses, as he has failed to give a clear idea of ​​how the government under his leadership will actually pursue China and foreign affairs. The NDP Forum does not address China’s issue other than making references to “human rights abuses” and promoting democracy in Hong Kong. He has also done little to rein in and discipline the more radical members of his party, such as MP Nicky Ashton, who has called for Meng’s release and to prompt the government to make a decision. Have voted against the proposals put forward by the Conservatives. Huawei’s participation in Canada’s 5G network.

Score: 3 stars

Yves-François Blanchett

As the leader of the bloc Québécois, Yves-François Blanchett does not engage himself much with questions about foreign policy, but from what we can see, his record on China has been mixed.

During the September 9 debate, Blanchett agreed with Trudeau’s remarks that “killing tomatoes in the Pacific” and excessive freshness was not a way to bring Kovrig and Spavor home, but added that “doing nothing is the solution either.” Not possible.” He also criticized Trudeau’s performance on Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Uighur issue.

In addition, his party supported a proposal to recognize the genocide of Uighurs, and the bloc’s presence on the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations has proved valuable, foreign affairs critic Stefan Bergeron a principled voice on human rights issues. and foreign interference.

However, during the 2019 election, Blanchett insisted on the need for trade with China, despite Kovrig and Spavor’s imprisonment. “When you’re facing a mighty enemy like China, you don’t try to show fish when you’re just small fish,” he said.

Score: 3 stars

Annie Paul

Annie Paul has only been leader of the Green Party for a short time, but has been vocal about Canada’s approach to China. She has demonstrated through some of her statements that she feels that Canada should be more proactive in confronting China. During the September 9 debate, he questioned Canada’s credibility, especially on issues such as the two Michaels and the Uighurs, saying that “if our words don’t matter much, it would be very important for us to help people like Michaels.” It gets tough when they need us the most.”

Paul continues to advocate for human rights and influence on the world stage for Canada, including advocating for moving the 2022 Olympics outside China and using international law to address Beijing’s treatment of Uighurs. . However, it is not clear what the Green Party’s foreign policy will look like.

Score: 3 stars

Maxime Bernier

As leader of the People’s Party of Canada, Maxim Bernier has not made the issue of China the main focus of his campaign, but has made statements about Canada-China relations in the past that may help address his What would be the approach?

During his run for Conservative leadership in 2017, he promoted further trade with China on the grounds that it could help increase Canadian exports to $7.7 million a year and Beijing on human rights issues for Canada. Might make it easier to move on.

However, after the campaign and the founding of his People’s Party, which coincided with a series of diplomatic disputes between Ottawa and Beijing, Bernier changed his position, saying that free trade with China should no longer be a priority. And he doesn’t see any future in the future. This.

His party’s foreign policy platform doesn’t have much specifics about China, but what can be gained from it is that Bernier will take a highly critical approach of the United Nations, in which many parts of China have successfully co-opted and its manipulated for. ends.

Score: 3 stars

Foreign policy was not as prominent an issue in this election campaign as it should have been. Nevertheless, whoever has the privilege of forming the next government should be at the top of their agenda to ensure that Canada is in a position to play an influential role in keeping China’s communist regime in check.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Shane Miller is a political writer based in London, Ontario.


This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

Rating Canadian Party Leaders on Their Plan to Deal with Communist China
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