In the latest tranche of Wikileaks of US diplomatic cables there is one from the US Embassy in Ottawa commenting on the lack of "deliverables" from visits to China in 2007 by David Emerson and Jim Flaherty. This cable was reported in the Globe and Mail on Thursday in Mark MacKinnon's report "Canadian diplomatic trips to China accomplished little, U.S. ambassador says" (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canadian-diplomatic-trips-to-china-accomplished-little-us-ambassador-says/article2139940/). The original cable can be read at http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/02/07OTTAWA213.html
My judgement is that the issues with regard to senior-level Canadian officials visits to China raised in the US cable remain unchanged 4 years on.
Thinking about it, it this really indicates how one-sided the Canada-China relationship has become over the last 20 years. On these visits our senior cabinet ministers play the role of enhancing the prestige of CCP leaders by appearing on the Chinese news sitting on over stuffed chairs depicted as listening supplicantly to yet another stupefyingly wordy "comprehensive briefing" by a Chinese leader. Our diplomats in China struggle to come up with go-through-the-motions hollow announcements for the visiting minister to complement the courtesy calls and tours and banquets these things devolve in to.
On the other hand, over this time, China has made so many inroads into Canada that serve the interests of the Communist Party's regime very well. But Canada gets no progress on substance such as fairer access to the Chinese market, human rights concerns or concerns about Chinese espionage in Canada in return. Canada is floundering in China due to our lack of expertise and resources there.
And this suits the Chinese Communist Government just fine.