Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Globe and Mail - China’s Premier urges Trudeau to relax controls on high-tech exports

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/chinas-premier-urges-trudeau-to-relax-controls-on-high-tech-exports/article34746356/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com

"Former Canadian diplomat Charles Burton, who served in Beijing, said Mr. Li appears to be pressing China's advantage now that the Trudeau government has allowed O-Net to take over ITF Technologies, a Montreal-based firm involved in sophisticated laser technology with military applications.
"The reversal of the decision on the O-Net acquisition was really unprecedented in Canada," Mr. Burton said. "Certainly, the fact the Chinese Premier is now flagging high-tech suggests the Chinese government is hoping that Canada will be transferring more high-technology that they may not be able to acquire from other countries and maybe indicating that this will be an important condition of the upcoming free-trade negotiations. … They are seeing this as something they are expecting from Canada now that we have done it with the laser technology."
Mr. Burton said the Prime Minister must be cautious in the trade negotiations that it is not bullied by Beijing to give up key technology, especially when Canada's Five-Eyes intelligence-sharing partners have restrictions on such transfer, including U.S. firms operating in this country.
"The United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand would all be concerned if they felt classified technology was being passed on to China through Canada. I think that would really cause them to question our commitment to the alliance," he said."

Sunday, April 16, 2017

My Opinion piece: "China is paralyzed on looming North Korea threat. Will Trump show restraint? - The Globe and Mail"

China is paralyzed on looming North Korea threat. Will Trump show restraint? - The Globe and Mail



"The post-Kim fallout of a German-like reunification of Korea would be profoundly politically destabilizing for China. The opening of the secret police files and the seeking of redress by the politically wronged, followed by the inevitable public trials for corruption and political venality of China’s “lips and teeth” North Korean political and military elite would trigger huge interest among citizens of China. Parallels to the Chinese system would be too closely drawn for the Chinese Communist Party leadership to explain away, and the threat this poses to mainland Chinese political stability could well be the beginning of the end of the Chinese Communist Party’s single-party authoritarian rule. Moreover, the files would likely show PRC regime complicity in a lot of matters relating to the DPRK that would severely debase China’s international prestige."

Monday, April 10, 2017

Canadians wary of deeper economic ties with China: poll - The Globe and Mail

Canadians wary of deeper economic ties with China: poll - The Globe and Mail



Former Canadian diplomat and China expert Charles Burton said the poll makes it clear “most Canadians do not agree” with Mr. McCallum or Mr. Lu when they say human rights should not form part of trade talks.
Mr. Burton said it also suggests Canadians do not want Chinese state-owned companies acquiring majority control of Canadian companies in sensitive sectors such as the oil sands or technology with military applications.
The former Canadian diplomat said Canada should be on guard for language the Chinese may wish to insert in a free-trade deal that could hinder Ottawa’s ability to speak out against human-rights abuses.
“I think the Chinese would attempt to do that … text that talks of mutual respect for the sovereignty of each nation and non-interference in domestic affairs – the kind of language the Chinese could use to press a government,” Mr. Burton said.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Canadian Ambassador Concerned About Canadians Impeding His "Agenda" in China

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/canada-a-long-long-way-from-china-extradition-deal-mccallum/article34560846/

“My job is partly to persuade China to do things, but my job is also to persuade Canada to get its own act in order,” Mr. McCallum said. He expects to return to Canada every six to eight weeks. There are “things that people in Canada are doing which are impeding our agenda over here,” he said.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Australian former High Commissioner - "Trade with China: Proceed with caution"

"It’s too early to say what, if anything, the FTA will deliver, trade-wise. Australian exports to China are actually down.  .  . . Beggaring belief, a Chinese firm with military connections was allowed to take over the management of our northernmost port of Darwin.  .  .  . If Canada is to draw one conclusion from Australia’s experience, it’s for political leaders to take the Canadian people with them, openly, in advance."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/trade-with-china-proceed-with-caution/article34493609/

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Government Consulting Canadians on a possible Canada-China free trade agreement

"The Government of Canada is asking the Canadian public and interested Canadian stakeholders to help define Canada’s interests in a possible FTA with China, and identify ways of maximizing the economic and social benefits of such an agreement. We want to hear from you and we commit to providing feedback on what we are hearing from you. The Government of Canada is committed to hearing from Canadians on this important subject and will ensure that Canadians continue to have the opportunity to provide their views as we engage with China, including through additional consultations in the event that Canada and China decide to move to formal FTA negotiations."

Comment from me: The key is how seriously the consultations will be taken by my Government. I really do wonder about this.

Friday, February 17, 2017

My Opinion Piece on Canada-China Free Trade Published in Globe and Mail today

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/with-beijing-its-never-just-about-free-trade/article34049806/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&post_id=10153521909684078_10155134270024078&service=mobile#_=_

China sees similar advantage in weaning Canada away from our economic and political alliance with the United States, but it also expects to get compromises that further its regime interests. Canada has already ceded ground on this, making recent concessions – with no promise whatsoever of reciprocal considerations –  to ease limits on Chinese state investment in Canada; seize and repatriate assets of certain Chinese nationals in Canada; and (inexplicably) reverse a national security review that prevented a Beijing-backed concern from buying Canadian advanced laser technology with military application for directed-energy weapons that China is desperate to develop.