Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Are Chinese Spies in Canada Getting an Easy Ride?

"Are Chinese Spies Getting An Easy Ride?"   While the US has prosecuted dozens of alleged spies in recent years, Canada can't or won't—nab a single spook. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

My Op-Ed on Lai Changxing matter in Monday`s Globe and Mail

"Farewell, Mr. Lai!"

See also: Postmedia news report by Jeff Davis "Canada not pressured into extraditing Chinese fugitive: Baird"

The Chinese TV news covered Mr. Lai's return live from Beijing Airport.  There has been literally hours of reporting and commentary on it.  The level of interest in the Lai matter in China is much higher than I had previously imagined.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Almost Certain Lai Changxing Will Be Returned to China Possibily as Soon as Saturday

When asked earlier in the day if his client had any legal options left if the Federal Court ruled against him, lawyer David Matas simply told The Globe and Mail: "No."

"Federal court rules against Lai Changxing"

Poll: Does Canada have a moral duty to pressure China to improve its human rights record?

Poll: Does Canada have a moral duty to pressure China to improve its
human rights record?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Visiting a Buddhist Temple in Yunnan

Visited the Wenfeng Temple in Lijiang County a few days ago.  It features several photos of Karmapa (Ogyen Trinley Dorje ཨོ་རྒྱན་འཕྲིན་ལས་རྡོ་རྗེ།) including a very large one outside the main gate.  The temple was pretty much devoid of visitors, very peaceful and beautiful and in quite good repair.  The monks seemed delighted to meet my son, Geoffrey and his 4 year-old girl cousin and took turns holding them very tenderly.  The younger monks are enthusiastic basketball players.  I managed to make it up to the top of the mountain where there is a meditation hall, a sacred cave with spring, the cells where the nuns live and a spectacular view including of a golf course in the valley below.

It was an afternoon that will always rest in my memory.

Embassy Mag Reports My Views on Way Forward for Canada's Engagement with China on Human Rights

"Charles Burton, associate professor of political science at Brock
University who is a former diplomat in Beijing and has written books
on the Middle Kingdom, says the key to moving forward might be for Mr.
Baird to become familiar with the changing situation in China. At that
point, he may adjust Canada's foreign policy to become engaged in
trying to support the agents of change in the country-as opposed to
trying to convince the Chinese Communist Party leadership that
democracy and human rights are simply a good thing. This will involve
more of what Mr. Baird referred to as "people-to-people" ties, rather
than government-to-government."

"China strategy needed to confront human rights":

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Canada's Integrated and Balanced China Policy

The Globe and Mail has published an article on the intentions of Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs's engagement with the Government of China this week.  It reports as follows:

"It's critical for our success going forward as a country, economically, to engage with one of the world's most important and fastest growing economies," said a senior government official on Sunday. "That can't be understated. But it's not at the expense of Canadian values and principles."
The federal official said Canada is looking to strengthen commercial, educational and technological ties with China, and that as part of these discussions, Canada will continue to press China to "implement and adhere to internationally recognized human-rights practices."

Thursday, July 14, 2011

DFAIT Reaffirms that Canada Will Not Change Approach to China on Human Rights (English)

"We have  frank and open discussions with China with respect to human rights as part of the mature bilateral relation that we have with this emerging superpower," Baird's spokesman said. "This government hasn't shied away from standing up for our principled position on human rights and foreign policy generally, and I don't think you'll see that change."

DFAIT Reaffirms that Canada Will Not Change Approach to China on Human Rights (Sorry I Only Have It in Chinese)

加拿大外交部长约翰•贝尔德(John Baird)将于7月16日至20日对中国进行访问,这是贝尔德今年5月当选联邦外交部长后的首次出访。联邦外交部官员在外长出访前称,加拿大对于中国的人权状况依然非常关注,将会继续向中方施压,将继续与中方进行坦诚且富有成效的对话。

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Interesting Chinese Government Media Report on Corrupt Officials Abroad

"According to a report published by the People's Bank of China in
June, the number of runaway corrupt officials – mainly supervisors and
managers from government departments, enterprises and institutions –
has reached 16,000, resulting in the transfer of 800 billion yuan
($119 billion) in assets to other countries or regions.
The report was allegedly retracted later by the central bank from its website.
Since 2007, at least 580 fugitives accused of illegal fundraising,
bank fraud, illegal transfer of funds abroad and contract fraud have
gone on the run in other countries, mostly in North America and
Southeast Asia, with Canada often cited as a haven for corrupt Chinese
officials and fugitives, the Ministry of Public Security revealed late
last year."

"Smuggler Lai Changxing nears extradition"

Minister Baird to Visit China and Indonesia

(No. A/46 - July 12, 2011) John Baird, Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister, will be travelling to China from July 16 to 20, 2011, for a bilateral visit, and to Bali, Indonesia from July 21 to 24, to attend the 44th ASEAN Ministerial Conference. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lai Changxing may be returned to China on July 25

High-profile fugitive Lai Changxing has been arrested by Canadian Border Services agents and now faces possible deportation later this month to face smuggling and corruption charges in China.

He was taken into custody late last week, after Immigration Canada - following more than four years of deliberation - determined that Mr. Lai does not face a serious risk of torture from Chinese authorities.