Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Beijing’s real reasons behind the summit in Singapore - My Op Ed in the Globe and Mail

Beijing’s real reasons behind the summit in Singapore - The Globe and Mail

"Last weekend’s summit did not go well. Mr. Ma was rebuffed when he asked China to ease restrictions on Taiwan’s participation in global organizations and bodies. When he asked that China reduce its military presence on the coast across from Taiwan, Mr. Xi simply responded absurdly that the massive arsenal is not targeted at Taiwan. Mr. Xi did offer to reconsider the decision to deny Taiwan’s participation in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, but basically Mr. Ma left humiliated, and one wonders what Mr. Xi intended by this meeting.  .  .  .  China’s defiant sovereignty claims over islands in the South China Sea have led to condemnation by its neighbours and the international community at large, but China’s newly aggressive nationalistic military actions in the region make one wonder whether Mr. Xi’s puzzling meeting with Mr. Ma on Saturday is a harbinger of much more assertive moves by the Communists to bring Taiwan under PRC control once and for all."

Friday, October 30, 2015

My Op-Ed in today's Globe and Mail "Goodbye to the Age of China's "Little Emperors"

"Perhaps the greatest benefit of the policy change will be sociological. Under the one-child policy, most children are overindulged by two parents and four grandparents. They have no brothers or sisters, cousins, or uncles and aunts. All the expectations of the generations fall onto their young shoulders, and the pressure to succeed can be crushing and character-distorting. Moreover, these “little emperors” tend to grow up with an exaggerated sense of self-importance and often lack the social sensibilities necessary to a civil society.
The termination of this policy is a rare piece of good news out of China, and should be welcomed. It’s likely that Chinese couples with only one child will be turning in early tonight."

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Terry Glavin: Welcoming back the Liberal old guard | National Post

Terry Glavin: Welcoming back the Liberal old guard | National Post

I highly recommend this article.

"For the millions of Canadians who voted for Justin Trudeau in the hopes of a break from the past, the appointment of the grizzled mandarin Peter Harder to lead Trudeau’s transition to power doesn’t look like a harbinger of a fresh new start.

For anyone hoping that Ottawa will not fall back into the clutches of the old Liberal establishment that Trudeau was supposed to have overthrown, Harder’s appointment should ring an alarm bell or two. For anyone concerned about effective global action on climate change, or Canada’s approach to the obscenities of human rights abuses in China, those bells should be ringing from the rooftops."

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Letter to a Friend Who Opposes the Concept of "Canadian Values"

Dear John,

It is good to hear from you again.

I think it would be fair to say that "Canadian values" have implicit within them "universal values." Of course every nation that chooses to become a member of the United Nations is required to acknowledge the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Canada has also ratified covenants that elaborate on the UDHR starting with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights.  Once ratified, the values underlying these treaties have to be accepted as "Canadian values."  But the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does have implicit in it certain values which while fully consistent with "universal values" are distinctive to Canada.

We reject any national values that are at cross purposes to universal values.  But Canada supports the idea that nations have values which reflect their own cultural traditions. But universal values always trump national values.

Best regards.


Monday, October 26, 2015

My Op-Ed in Globe Mail: "Relations with China should hinge on more than short-term economic value"

Relations with China should hinge on more than short-term economic value - The Globe and Mail

"Willingness to seriously engage the once-isolated China was a positive hallmark of past Liberal governments, from Pierre Trudeau on, but the dynamics of that relationship have changed considerably since that era. It would be negligent to not appreciate the threat to Canadian sovereignty and interests posed by Beijing’s non-democratic, nationalistic, expansionist Leninist politics.    .    .    . Clearly, “quiet diplomacy” has had no discernible positive impact, but rather functions as tacit consent for egregious Chinese regime behaviour. Canada should have no further part of it. We simply lose the respect of the Chinese regime if we do not speak out honestly and constructively about our concerns over China’s human-rights violations, support for rogue dictators, cyberespionage and underhanded attempts to subvert the decisions of Canadian political leaders to further China’s state interests."