Monday, May 11, 2009

Good News About Minister Cannon's Meetings in Beijing

There is a report of an interview that Bill Schiller of the Toronto Star had with the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs earlier today:
I am particularly taken with this part of Bill Schiller's report:
"Cannon also revealed that Canada was looking at a 'new mechanism' to deal with concerns about human rights in China and that the Chinese were 'open' to the idea.
Canada suspended its formal human rights dialogue with China in 2006, following a report from the Canadian foreign affairs ministry saying that the discussion format and results were ineffectual. They dialogue has not been resumed since.
Cannon insisted that the Harper government would never abandon its principles on the issue of human rights.' When I talk about "frank" (discussions), I'm specifically talking about being able to say, to our partner, what we believe is important in terms of human rights,' Cannon said.
'I certainly want to be able to reassure Canadians that we have not changed our principled approach on this. That is still there. As long as Stephen Harper is Prime Minister of Canada, I can guarantee that's going to be there. It's part of our DNA," he said.'

Mr. Cannon had a 2.5 hour working lunch with the Chinese Foreign Minister and an unusual 40 minute meeting the Vice-President Xi Jinping.

I feel quite encouraged by the preliminary reports of this visit.

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