Monday, January 19, 2015

Another DPRK Defector "Improves" on the Truth of His Experience

NYTimes: Prominent North Korean Defector Recants Parts of His Story of Captivity

Unfortunately DPRK defector accounts are typically distorted and exaggerated. Why they are inclined to improve on the truth is intriguing in and of itself.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Very bleak take on Xi Jinping's "Stalinist Purge" Published in New York Times by Murong Xuecun

"But in Mr. Xi’s former fiefdoms — before attaining national power he held office in Fujian and Zhejiang provinces — as best I can tell not one official above the deputy provincial level has been arrested for corruption. Recently the question was raised in a post on the Internet: Why have no 'big tigers' been found in Fujian and Zhejiang? The message was almost immediately deleted."

Xi’s Selective Punishment  Very bleak take on Xi Jinping's "Stalinist Purge"

Monday, January 12, 2015

John Baird's Remarks on Garratts and Future of Canada-China Relations Reported in Chinese Language Media

Below is my rough translation of a report in the World Journal by 費詩明 dated Toronto January 10, 2015.
The Chinese original text can be found at

Baird: Expects that China Will Start to Offer 10 Year Visas

At an event in Markham Federal Ministry of Foreign affairs John Baird indicated that the arrangements for a visit of a senior Chinese government official to Canada are still being negotiated. At this time he has no information to announce about this. The federal government very much hopes that the Government of China will be able to start to offer a 10 year visa for Canadian citizens. This will convenience visits by family members between the two nations. And will also make bilateral exchanges easier.

Mr Baird indicated that the visit to China in November of last year was most successful. Especially that Toronto became the first renminbi exchange centre in North America. This has been a win-win for Canada. He said that senior officials of Canada and China are in constant contact. Last week cat an activity in Latin America he had a brief meeting with China's vice president Li Yuanchao. At that meeting the two sides deepened the development of relations.

With regard to the case of Canadian citizens Kevin Garratt and Julia Dawn Garratt accused of stealing Chinese secrets, they still remain in custody. Mr. Baird indicated that there has been no progress on this matter, but the Government of Canada will continue to pay close attention to it, and give assistance and apply pressure as required.

The Government of China has already offered a 10 year visa for citizens of the United States. Several local Chinese community organisations have signed a joint petition in the hope that the Government of Canada will put pressure on the Government of China to extend a 10 year visa to Canadian citizens as well. Baird indicated yesterday that the Federal Government also hopes that China, with the shortest possible delay, will extend a 10 year visa for Canadian citizens. This will not only be of benefit to visits by family members. It will also assist economic leaders in exchanging visits and it will simplify the complicated procedures involving going abroad to renew Chinese visas.

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.