"The Harper government has consistently argued that its foreign policy positions are driven by principle. On China, in particular, one Tory insider, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the government’s criticism of Beijing has been driven by the personal convictions of Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, rather than any political calculation.
A government spokeswoman echoed the argument that Harper’s policy is driven by political principles, not pandering.
'We make foreign policy decisions based on all Canadians’ interests, supporting our common values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law,' Catherine Loubier, spokeswoman for Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, wrote in an e-mailed statement.
. . .
The Harper government’s criticism of China on human rights, which has been toned down after ongoing objections from both big business and the Chinese-Canadian community, doesn’t qualify as an example of pandering, said the Tory insider.
He said Kenney has made clear to party members he has pushed an outspoken position based on personal principles even though many Chinese-Canadians, regardless of their views on communism, have resented the public criticism of their “mother country” — especially during the 2008 Olympics that Harper refused to attend."