Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Conditions for Canada Getting "Approved Destination Status" for Tourism from China

I have heard from many sources the view expounded by DFAIT that the the sole barrier to China extending Approved Destination Status" is Canada's inability to return Mr. Lai Changxing back to China to face charges of smuggling, bribery and tax evasion.

The larger issue though is that the reason that Mr. Lai has not been returned to China is because of the ruling by Mr. Justice Yves de Montigny that contains two main elements:
1. doubt about the Chinese Government assurance that Mr. Lai will not face the death penalty if sent back for trial. Mr. Lai's own brother has died in prison under unclear circumstances. But possibly more importantly is the issue of how a diplomatic note issued by the Government of China can anticipate the result of a judicial process in a nation where the death penalty is applicable to serious economic crimes.
2. doubt that Mr. Lai can get due process of law in China. This is why Canada and China cannot negotiate an Extradition Treaty. The rules of evidence in China do not meet international judicial standards. Due to a 1988 Supreme Court of Canada decision, Mr. Lai as a foreign national enjoys the protection of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms the same as Canadian citizens do.

So the issue is larger than simply the Lai case. If the Canadian courts agree to return Mr. Lai to China to face charges this will have significant implications for all the large number of Chinese citizens who like Mr. Lai are alleged to have committed crimes in China and who are currently in Canada as Convention refugees unable to be made accountable for what they may have done before they arrived in Canada.

The barrier to Approved Destination Status for Chinese citizens to come to Canada as tourists rests with our Refugee determination process as a whole. The Lai case is simply one expression of a larger issue in Canada-China relations.

I discuss this at further length in my long report on Canada-China relations which can be read at

This matter was also discussed by me and Neil Tait of the Bank of Montreal on the TV program "The Agenda with Steve Paikin" on March 19. See

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2009-2010)

The Information Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China issued the "National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2009-2010)" on April 13.

It can be read at

It is a document of almost 16,000 English words in 27 separate web pages. I have combined all 27 into one to make it easier to read and print out as a complete text. The can be found here.

I expect to comment on the document on this blog some time next week.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Canada-China Relations on CTV "Question Period"

Video of my appearance on the CTV with Paul Evans of UBC on April 12:

The interview of Stockwell Day by Craig Oliver done the day before can be found at:

A report in the Globe and Mail challenging an aspect of the above interview that quotes my views:
or here
Highly favourable Chinese commentary about this Globe and Mail report:

A news report about my appearance on CTV "Question Period" today (Sunday) can be found at: or here

Thursday, April 09, 2009

David Mulroney - Biographical notes


Date of Birth:
November 1954

B.A., English, University of Toronto

Professional Experience

Since February 2007
Associate Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

2006 - 2007
Foreign and Defence Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister in the Privy Council Office

2005 - 2006
Assistant Deputy Minister, Bilateral Relations, Foreign Affairs Canada

2001 - 2005
Assistant Deputy Minister, Asia-Pacific, Foreign Affairs and International Trade

1998 - 2001
Executive Director, Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, Foreign Affairs and International Trade

1995 -1998
Executive Director, Canada-China Business Council

1992 - 1995
Commercial Counsellor, Canadian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, Foreign Affairs and International Trade

1990 - 1992
Executive Assistant, Deputy Minister for International Trade, Foreign Affairs and International Trade

1988 - 1990
Deputy Director, East Asia Trade Division, Foreign Affairs and International Trade

1985 - 1988
Consul, Canadian Consulate General in Shanghai, Foreign Affairs and International Trade

1982 - 1985
Trade Commissioner, Canadian Embassy in Korea, Foreign Affairs and International Trade

1981 - 1982
Assistant Trade Commissioner, St-John’s Regional Office, Industry Trade and Commerce

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Response to E-mail from a Friend Who Returned to China after an Absence of 26 years

I think that one thing that has not changed in China is the Stalinist-style security apparatus. What has changed is that the "soft power" capacity of the Chinese Communist Party to "win hearts and minds" has weakened substantially.

Additional sentences quoting my views at end of on-line version of Globe and Mail report about Stockwell Day's upcoming trip to China not printed

I am quoted in Campbell Clark's report: "Hawkish Trade Minister's Beijing trip signals policy shift" published on page A4 of the Globe and Mail on April 8. That report can be read here.
These two additional sentences are at the end of on-line version:
China would also like Mr. Day to make a clear statement that Canada supports a “One China” policy, and therefore holds no sympathy for the nationalist aspirations of Tibet or Taiwan. But Mr. Burton said that's unnecessary, and could be seen as tacit acceptance of repression.“If he resumes the policies of quiet diplomacy and makes a statement on One China, one will know that he's decided to go over to the policies of the Liberal government,” Mr. Burton said.

Monday, April 06, 2009

China Background of Nadir Patel, Canada's New Consul-General in Shanghai

Nadir Patel (BA, Wilfrid Laurier University, 1993; MBA, New York University Stern School of Business, London School of Economics and Political Science, HEC Paris School of Management, 2009) began his career in 1990 at Revenue Canada Customs, Excise and Taxation, serving in progressively more senior positions in the department’s offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ottawa and Montreal until 1996. From 1997 to 2003, he served in the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency as departmental assistant to the minister; director of ministerial services; agency adviser to the minister; and secretary to the Board of Management. In 2003, he transferred to the Privy Council Office, serving as chief of staff to the national security advisor to the prime minister, associate secretary to the cabinet, and deputy minister to the deputy prime minister. From 2005 to 2006, he served as senior policy adviser to the clerk of the Privy Council and secretary to the Cabinet. In 2006, he was appointed by the minister of international trade and the minister of transport to his current position as Canada’s chief air negotiator. Mr. Patel succeeds Susan Gregson.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Commons Question Period on China April 3

Mr. Speaker, the previous government consistently failed to raise human rights with China and placed almost exclusive priority on trade issues. The current government got off on the wrong foot by failing to establish a respectful and positive relationship with that important nation. Indeed, the Prime Minister has yet either to visit China or to invite President Hu to Canada.

We heard that the Minister of International Trade is set to travel to China imminently. Will he commit to raise the issue of respect for human rights in China, and work to establish a productive but principled relationship with that important country?

Mr. Gerald Keddy (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, we always have a respectful relationship with our trading partners. It is also important to mention that we are in the process of opening six new trade offices in China, in six Chinese provinces, and expanded resources in other cities.

The hon. member would like to distort the facts. He would like to say that our international companies and corporations do not respect human rights or the environment. Nothing is further from the truth.

We also recognize that China is our third largest trading partner. We absolutely plan to continue to work in a respectful manner with it.