Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Liberal Party China Policy - Trudeau unveils foreign policy team of ex-military officers, ambassadors

Trudeau unveils foreign policy team of ex-military officers, ambassadors - The Globe and Mail

"Another member of Mr. Trudeau’s council is Margaret Cornish, a Beijing-based senior adviser for the law firm Bennett Jones, who has argued against special restrictions on what Chinese state-owned firms can buy in Canada."

Monday, December 15, 2014

Canada, China to sign deal on return of fugitives' seized assets

Canada, China to sign deal on return of fugitives' seized assets | Daily Mail Online

This agreement following hard on the treaty Canada signed with China last month to exchange information on Customs investigations, suggest that Canada is making significant concessions to demands from the People's Republic of China without any assurance of reciprocal concessions on the part of the PRC in response to our concerns about market access and human rights. For example, we have not asked that China respond positively by resolving the consular case of Kevin and Julia Garratt prior to our announcing the above two agreements with China. 

Both of these agreements are highly problematic for Canada. "The return of property related to people who would have fled to Canada and would have been involved in corrupt activities", as Ambassador Saint-Jacques puts it is a noble goal consistent with Canadian values. But the issue is when the Chinese government informs us that the bank accounts and property of a Chinese person in Canada are the proceeds of criminal activity in China. How can we fairly assess this claim before seizing the assets of the alleged criminal and handing them over to the Chinese agency that has demanded them? 

In Canada we demand full due process of law for everyone in our country whether Canadian or Chinese. The main reason we do not have an extradition treaty with China is because we do not trust the evidentiary basis for claims of criminality by the PRC regime. That will be the case so long as China has no independent judiciary. 

Presently the police and the judges must submit to the authority of "Political and Legal Committees" of the Chinese Communist Party.  We therefore have concerns that these requests to Canada to strip the assets of Chinese people in Canada and repatriate them to China may be more informed by political factors related to factional struggle within the Chinese Communist Party than purely legal claims. 

That being said hopefully the text of this agreement and of the customs agreement will both be made public soon so that they can be assessed independently and enter into the public debate over Canada's foreign relations with China.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Puzzling: Harper government quietly signed customs agreement with China - National | Globalnews.ca

EXCLUSIVE: Harper government quietly signed customs agreement with China - National | Globalnews.ca

“I’m hard-pressed to know why it is that Canada feels it would be in our interest to share information on sensitive matters of interdiction of illegal exports and other customs-related matters with the Chinese state, who would likely pass it on to exactly the people that we are hoping to prevent from doing this kind of illegal activity,” Burton said.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Nexen Continues Termination of Canadian Staff

"Power said 'standardization'is more important now that Nexen is part of a bigger organization and the new structure is 'well aligned with head office.'
CNOOC’s $15.1-billion acquisition of Nexen Inc. two years ago triggered a change in Canadian foreign investment rules to ban state-owned enterprises from gaining control of oilsands assets in the future. The company was said over the summer to be cutting costs and staff, despite assuring Ottawa it would keep all of its executives and employees.
CNOOC fired chief executive Kevin Reinhart last April and replaced him with Fang Zhi, a CNOOC executive of 30 years with an MBA from a British university, who served on the Nexen integration team."

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hong Kong police get ready to clear Occupy protest sites

Hong Kong police get ready to clear Occupy protest sites http://on.wsj.com/1zjdOpA

So sadly predictable; exactly as I had thought would happen

Monday, November 10, 2014

My Op-Ed "Why is Harper in China? The ethnic vote. And money" - The Globe and Mail

Why is Harper in China? The ethnic vote. And money - The Globe and Mail

"Chinese media reports of the Harper visit focused on boosting relations, increasing trade and “building mutual trust.” This seems to mean trusting Beijing’s assurances that Ottawa should have no cause for concern about allegations of pervasive serious human rights abuse in China, or about Chinese cyber espionage threatening Canadian security. Indeed there were many photographs of Mr. Harper and his accompanying cabinet ministers laughing and smiling and giving the impression that they thoroughly enjoyed interacting with leaders of the Chinese Communist Party.

But it is hard to imagine that Mr. Harper was genuinely building bonds of friendship at his lengthy Friday meeting with Xiao Baolong, the Communist Party Secretary of Zhejiang province. Mr. Xiao is currently currying favour with the leadership in Beijing by systematically suppressing Christianity. Hundreds of churches have been ordered to remove visible crosses from their buildings, and many churches have been completely razed on the premise of “building code violations” – including the heart-rending destruction of the magnificent, recently constructed Sanjiang Cathedral that could seat 3,000 worshippers."

President Obama's Comments on China at APEC Opening Speech

"We look to China to create a more level playing field on which foreign companies are treated fairly," Obama said.

"We look to China to become an innovative economy that values the protection of intellectual property rights and rejects cybertheft of trade secrets for commercial gain."

He also called on China "to stand up for human rights and freedom of the press."