Monday, May 30, 2016

Transcript of China Related Comments by Former Director of CSIS Broadcast on CBC "As It Happens" on April 4, 2016

Transcript of China Related Comments by Former Director of CSIS Broadcast on CBC "As It Happens" on April 4, 2016

Carol Off: I’m going to ask you what  I think what you are referring to as “the gotcha question” here.    And that is that you said that China is a very aggressive recruiter in Canada.  What did you mean?
Richard Fadden:  I think a lot of countries have a very different view of how they use the power of the state in order to advance their interest. I think a number of these countries, including the one you just mentioned, take the view that if they can advance their interests sometimes more covertly than overtly that's not a bad thing. We tend not to do that, we as Canadians, other countries do. I think it's generally recognized in the public domain, let alone in the world I used to work in, that they're very good at this and they do it quite systematically.
Carol Off: How widespread you think that is, recruiting people on the inside?
Richard Fadden: It depends what you mean by recruiting people on the inside.  I mean you can do this sort of thing through any number of ways starting from normal diplomatic discourse through the use of the media for encouraging people to develop friendly relations and you can also try and do it covertly.  Do I think that it's a massive problem in Canada that requires legislation and people shouting from the rooftops?  No I do not. What I do think we need to some degree is awareness of it, much like there is awareness of it in the United States.  They've been more upfront about it than we have been.
Carol Off: Do you think it represents a risk to Canadian interests?
Richard Fadden:  Sure, but a lot of things represent risks.  The key is to acknowledge it and to try and minimize it.  China's a great power.  They are there.  We have to deal with them.  It's something that I think the West is finding difficult to do.  But here again I think there is the need for the Government, Canadian society generally, to come to a balancing act. There are real advantages in having good relationships with China.  But like all relationships it's not a bad thing to go in with one's eyes open.  
Carol Off: To what degree do you think China has infiltrated the Canadian government and Canadian bureaucracy?
Richard Fadden: I don't think I can answer that question.
Carol Off: Is it a lot? A little bit?
Richard Fadden: I really would rather not because it requires me to draw on information that is classified.
Carol Off: So can I infer from that that you do think that they have penetrated?
Richard Fadden: “Penetrated” is a word that we used to use during the Cold War to talk about spies who infiltrated the very centres of government. I have never suggested that was the case.
Carol Off: What do you suggest?
Richard Fadden: I suggest that they try and obtain influence in a variety of ways, some entirely acceptable some less so.
Carol Off: Do you think that people are knowingly helping them with that or do you think that they find themselves compromised without their knowledge?
Richard Fadden: Yes.
Carol Off: To what? Both?
Richard Fadden: Both. There’s nothing wrong with helping another state.  I mean we do it all the time.  To my mind the problem is, and I'm not just talking about one state in particular, the problem is when you are helping or you are doing something and you're not conscious of the extent to which you’re advancing the interest of the other state.
Carol Off: How often you think that they are consciously doing it?
Richard Fadden: I honestly, in this case it is not a question of not wanting to answer, I don't know the answer the question.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

China Pressures Europe to Stay Silent on Human Rights | The Diplomat

China Pressures Europe to Stay Silent on Human Rights | The Diplomat

"When governments adopt a softer approach on human rights and Tibet, their country’s potential for negotiation on important strategic issues becomes more constricted. Going to great lengths to accommodate the Chinese leadership’s sensitivities at a time when Chinese President Xi Jinping is presiding over the most eviscerating crackdown on civil society in a generation weakens a country’s leverage instead of strengthening it."

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Canada cites espionage risk from two Huawei employees, saying it plans to reject their immigration applications | South China Morning Post

Canada cites espionage risk from two Huawei employees, saying it plans to reject their immigration applications | South China Morning Post

"Canada is citing the risk of espionage as it prepares to reject the immigration applications of two Chinese employees of mainland telecom giant Huawei, in the first such cases to emerge amid a swirl of unsubstantiated international spying concerns about the firm."

Monday, April 04, 2016

Richard Fadden Comments on Chinese Approach in Canada

Please listen to his 4 minutes of comments on China which start at a bit after minute 17.  I absolutely agree with this distinguished public servant on all these points.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

What I Learnt from Brian Evans

I met Brian in 1986 when I went to the University of Alberta as a Killam postdoctoral scholar. Before I left Ottawa Arthur Menzies gave me some fairly firm instructions that I was to visit his friend James Barrington, who just moved to a nursing home in Edmonton, and that I should report back to Arthur how he was doing there.

Mr Barrington had been Burma's representative to the UN and Ambassador to Canada prior to taking up a teaching job in Brian's History Department in 1965. Brian volunteered to take me to see him.  We went by bus, Brian's preferred mode of transport.  Turns out Brian visited Jim Barrington regularly to pass on his copy of the Far Eastern Economic Review.  That was typical of Brian.  He did so many kind things on the quiet.

After that Brian and I became good friends. We often met for tea in the Hub Mall twice a day morning and afternoon. Although he was the Associate Vice President of the University at the time he always seem to have time to be my mentor (and Victor Radujko had the same privileged access to Brian). In years following Brian came to stay with me in Ottawa and Beijing and St. Catharines and I got to lodge in his palace on 81st Avenue on several occasions. And we travelled together all over China and Macau and several times in Korea and a couple of times to his sister's place in Sylvan Lake. Some of the happiest memories of my life are of times spent traveling in the very good company of Brian Evans.

On February 11 of this year I flew into Thailand only to find an email waiting for me from Pat Prestwich indicating that Brian’s condition had become critical and asking me to come to Edmonton as soon as I could. I was numb with the shock of it. 

That evening in Bangkok at midnight, fighting jet lag, everybody else in the house asleep, I was able to speak with Brian in hospital at 10am Edmonton time for one last time. I told him over the phone that he had been the single greatest single influence on me personally and as an academic. With a weak but ever gracious voice, Brian thanked me for introducing him to so many good Chinese friends over the years.

And that was true.  I invited Brian to join the Royal Society of Canada - Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Democracy project in 1992, Indeed the last time I saw Brian was when we traveled together with the colleagues from CASS as part of the Chinese delegation to a conference in Seoul. To the Chinese colleagues he wasn't a “Canadian friend.” His Chinese friends grew to love him as just Brian for himself and there was no barrier of race or nationality between them.  News of Brian’s death hit very hard in China. The messages to me from Brian's Chinese friends about it have been so emotional I haven't even been able to bring myself to translate them into English yet.

About 15 years ago Brian decided to bring the ashes of his late wife Margot Burwash to China to scatter some of them in Beijing. So Brian and I and Chen Qineng and Liu Guangtai and Wang Benxu furtively wandered all over the Altar of the Sun Park near my staff quarters in Beijing looking for a suitable place to illegally deposit Margot's earthly remains. Eventually Brian found a suitable glade of shrubbery and Wang Benxu led us all in the ritual nine bows in the direction of the bush that Brian with considerable aplomb had thrown them into.  

Subsequent I went back to the Park trying to find where we had scattered those ashes but I never could find the place again. 

Pat wants to bring some of Brian's ashes back to China, an idea I fully support.  Chen Qineng thinks he might be able to find the place by referring to some of the photographs we took that afternoon in the Park all those years ago.

My guess is that we will traipse around the Altar of the Sun Park for quite some time until the spirit of Brian tells us to just scatter his ashes somewhere else and head to the teahouse for refreshment.

After all, Brian had a great sense of humour and a profound appreciation of the absurd upside of life.

I think of Brian often and have to keep reminding myself that he's gone.