Monday, December 10, 2012
My Op-Ed in the Toronto Star "Stephen Harper’s decision on CNOOC finally gets the China connection right"
With greatly enhanced Chinese investment in Canada, one could easily see the pro-China business lobbyists and their think-tank pundits ever more active - and effective - in seeking to further the interests of the Chinese state in Canada. The national security implications of this could go far beyond the concerns that Dick Fadden, the CSIS director, has voiced in recent years about Canadian decision-makers being "under the influence of the Chinese state."
So hundreds of billions of Chinese yuan will not be coming to Canada in years ahead, as some had hoped would be the case. The Chinese government and the Canadian China lobby will not be happy about this. But in Canada's relations with the People's Republic of China, it is clearly better to be respected than loved.
Saturday, December 08, 2012
Harper says Canada not for sale, as Conservatives approve CNOOC Nexen buy-out | The Vancouver Observer
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Zhang Junsai said political reform is "high" on the government and party's agenda. I am inclined to disagree with him on that.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Xinhua reports that Xi Jinping has taken control of the military commission.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
"What Chinese people really want is an end to China's police state repression, an end to censorship of political debate and the right to choose their leaders. It would be a win-win situation - and such a democratic, open China would also give Canada a lot less pause over Chinese state investment in Canada."
Monday, November 12, 2012
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Friday, November 09, 2012
Any significant legal-political change would probably mean that many CCP leaders would not only lose their jobs, but also face prison for "corruption." They know what happened to the Soviet Union Communist Party under Gorbachev and other Communist Parties under reformers and so do not want to follow that path.
The Stalinist system in the world only survives now in North Korea, Cuba, Laos and the PRC. In no country that abandoned its Stalinist system is there support for return to that system.
I feel that if Chinese people feel seriously let down by 18th Congress that the political situation in China could become dangerous. I feel anxious at this prospect.
Thursday, November 08, 2012
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
U.S. Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the U.S. House of Representatives report: "Investigative report on the U.S. National Security Issues posed by Chinese Telecommunications Companies Huawei and ZTE
Friday, November 02, 2012
Monday, October 29, 2012
Regulations on Communist Officials and Government Employees Fleeing the Country Tweet from @GordonGChang
Charles Burton (@cburton001) 在 7:13 AM on 星期一, 10月 29, 2012 发布的推文:
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Conservatives work to clarify foreign takeover policy - The Globe and Mail
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
On October 8, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the U.S. House of Representatives issued their "Investigative report on the U.S. National Security Issues posed by Chinese Telecommunications Companies Huawei and ZTE." It was based on a study carried out over 11 months at the behest of Huawei, the world's second-biggest maker of routers, switches and associated telecommunications. Huawei hoped the Congressional study would dispel persistent but unproven allegations that it is a heavily subsidized front company of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and the Chinese Ministry of State Security.
The Select Committee heard hearsay evidence of serious allegations of malfeasance by Huawei (which have been referred to the U.S. Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security), but it turned up nothing definitive - at least not in the unclassified part of the report.
However, because there was enough doubt that Huawei "cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus pose a threat to the United States and to our systems," Congress imposed severe restrictions on Huawei's future business activities in the U.S.
This compelling report is of high interest in Canada, where Huawei, through highly competitive bids, has won contracts to supply sophisticated data networking equipment to at least Bell, Telus, Sasktel and Wind.
Competitors claim that Huawei can offer below-market pricing in its network installations thanks to secret funding it gets from the Chinese Government. Regardless of whether that is true, the Select Committee's report suggests that buying Huawei could be a very false economy for Canada.
Some observers were quick to downplay any implications the U.S. report could have for Canada. Telecom analyst Iain Grant has been quoted as saying he is "not sure that the technical judgment of the U.S. Congress is a yardstick that Canadian companies need to consider when making technical decisions. Canadian companies assess the attraction of Huawei gear on its merits, on function, on delivery and timeliness, on quality of what is delivered and on price. Paranoia is not a measure they find germane."
But clearly there are bases for concern about any Huawei equipment processing massive quantities of Canadian data. Certainly, the Government of Canada has already indicated Huawei will be excluded from bidding on a new government digital, telephone, data and e-mail network, on the basis that it is "too dicey to be included in constructing the network."
Among the unproven allegations in the Congressional report is that Huawei routers are able to activate "back door" software that sends data to "an elite cyber-warfare unit within the PLA." Similar routines hidden in millions of line of code could enable China to remotely shut down any Huawei-installed networks for strategic reasons. As technology progresses, the ability to carry out targeted mining of the huge data quantities passing through Huawei-installed Canadian routers and switches, using sophisticated computer algorithms, becomes a greater cause for concern. Moreover, the equipment will require maintenance and "software updates", opening up the possibility of further opportunities for cyber-espionage.
It all comes down to a question of trust. If the Canadian telecommunications project had been prepared to pay more for the Swedish Ericsson or French Alcatel Lucent installations instead, there would be less cause for alarm.
According to the U.S. report, Huawei admits the Chinese Communist Party maintains a Party Committee within the company, but won't explain how the committee functions or even reveal which individuals compose the committee, on the grounds that this information is a Chinese state secret and Huawei could be prosecuted in China if they came clear on this point.
Furthermore, since only People's Republic of China nationals are permitted to own shares in Huawei by company policy, it stands to reason that Huawei's senior management (also citizens) could not ignore a Chinese Party-State order to facilitate cyber-intelligence gathering or "back door" network processes, if couched in Chinese national security terms. (And it would certainly be virtually impossible for buyers of Huawei networks to detect.)
Beyond a doubt, Beijing has shown a strong proclivity to engage in cyber espionage. After the German Chancellery and three ministries were penetrated by hackers, evidently from China, and infected with spyware, Chancellor Angela Merkel stood in public next to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and openly criticized his government for its attacks. Canadian government computers also suffered similar assaults just last year, causing considerable disruption to operations.
And what of private-sector customers of Canadian telecommunication companies that use Huawei equipment to carry their data? Should activists for Chinese human rights, or Canadian companies competing for business contracts in China, be concerned? Considering how unforthcoming and obscure Huawei was in its responses to the pertinent questions posed by the U.S. Congress, this is a valid concern.
Unfortunately it appears that, for Canada, it is already too late to second-guess our trust in the honesty and sincerity of this Chinese firm.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
The report says:
"In the years before the economic crisis, hundreds of millions of square feet of Chinese drywall was exported to the United States. But soon after the drywall was installed homeowners noticed a sulfurous smell. In addition, appliances like televisions and microwaves inexplicably failed, and silver and copper items were covered with black soot."
Comment: One would have expected that making drywall with such extraordinary destructive powers able to disable TVs and home appliances would cost more to manufacture, not less.
Friday, October 12, 2012
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Comment: Very happy about this!
Monday, October 08, 2012
Saturday, October 06, 2012
Thursday, October 04, 2012
Monday, October 01, 2012
Video of Bob Rae's endorsement of choice of Guy Saint-Jacques as China Ambo broadcast on Omni News Mandarin
http://goo.gl/AK7tq (starts 1:40 in)
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Text of Agreement Between Canada and China for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments
This has been tabled in the Parliament of Canada. It also has to be ratified by the Chinese National People's Congress before coming into effect.
Friday, September 28, 2012
It suggests that Bo will become the focus of a major Party-wide campaign. This has been the norm for high-profile people expelled from the Party in the past. Expulsion of senior officials from the Party is a very serious and very rare political event. The fact that the Xinhua news release says Bo will be up for abuse of power and bribery suggests the possibility of very far reaching implications for others who are engaged in comparable corrupt practices.
So I take his expulsion as a promising development that could indicate that the 18th Party Congress may adopt meaningful reforms to bolster the Party's battered reputation with people in China and abroad.
Obviously it will infuriate many powerful people who will be exposed to serious charges. But the Party appears to be willing to risk instability instead of the continuing stagnation incurred by doing nothing meaningful and therefore suffering continuing corrosion of its legitimacy in the eyes of the people.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Rough and ready translation by me of article in today's Ming Pao about CNOOC-Nexen Human Rights Concerns
A Call to Grasp the Opportunity of Chinese Capital Purchasing Canadian Energy Enterprises
Group Urges Ottawa to Take Advantage and Push China to Improve Human Rights
(Ming Pao Report) The Chinese National Off-Shore Oil Corporation (CNOOC)'s intention to purchase the Canadian energy corporation, Nexen, is currently undergoing a political assessment process. "The Canadian Coalition for Human Rights in China" more than a month ago send a letter to the Federal Minister of Industry who is responsible for this assessment process. It calls on him, in addition to examining the economic benefits, to make human rights policy one of the factors under consideration. But up to know the Coalition has received no response to this letter.
The Canadian Coalition on Human Rights in China, which represents 15 organizations concerned about human rights in China sent this letter to the office of the Minister of Industry, Christian Paradis on August 16. The letter makes reference to Article 20 "Factors Influencing Investment Assessment" of the "Canada Investment Act" whose content expresses the Coalition's stance: "Human rights should be a factor strongly weighted in the foreign investment assessment process."
The Coalition encourages the Government of Canada to grasp the opportunity presented by the deep interest by China to invest in Canada's energy enterprises, to at this time demand that China improve its addressing of human rights issues that have emerged at every level of Chinese society. The letter also makes reference to reports exposing CNOOC's oil extraction operations in Burma which have not been approved by local residents and which have caused very great damage to local villages. Those villagers who have participated in opposition to the oil extraction have been arrested by the Burmese military and put on trial. [I am using "Burma" here, but there is no distinction in Chinese between "Burma" and "Myanmar." In pinyin the name of that country has consistently been "Miandian."]
This letter was sent simultaneously to the office of Prime Minister Harper. But after more than a month it has not elicited any response from the PMO either. The Coalition decided the day before yesterday to make the letter public.. It very rapidly received a reaction from Jason Kenney, the Minister of Immigration: "Our Government has very clearly expressed that Canada-China relations require balanced development, to carry forward our common interests, such as trade and business, as well as our values, such as the importance that we place on human rights."
Kenney made the above statement the day before yesterday at a press conference in response to a reporter's question. He indicated that he is assured that Harper for a long time has expressed the same opinion on issue of balanced development. According to information obtained by the "Toronto Star," Harper is the key person in making the final decision on whether this transaction will be approved or not.
The Chairman of one organization that is part of the "The Canadian Coalition for Human Rights in China," "The Toronto Association for Support of the Democracy Movement in China," Guan Zhuo [Cheuk Kwan], yesterday indicated to this newspaper that Nexen has an excellent human rights record. It was one of the earliest Canadian companies to write a human rights policy. Therefore in assessing whether or not to sell it to the Chinese state-owned CNOOC, whether or not CNOOC has an excellent human rights record, and whether it can fully implement a human rights policy in future management of the enterprise should become a factor that is given significant weight in considerations.
Guan Zhuo indicated that he can understand that the Ministry of Industry will approach its assessment of this transaction from a commercial benefit perspective. But he believes that the Government should not only look at the money benefits. It should also include Canada's human rights values perspective in the assessment, "although the Chinese side has indicated that it will strictly respect Canadian law after it makes the purchase, but the Ambassador of China indicated the day before yesterday that human rights should not be brought into this commercial transaction." Therefore Guan Zhuo feels that in approving this transaction the Government of Canada must ensure that that a human rights policy will be very well implemented in future operations of Nexen.
The original Chinese report can be found here: http://www.mingpaotor.com/htm/News/20120927/tbc1.htm?m=0
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
"He'll have close links right to the top, both with me and the prime minister, senior leadership of the public service and business communities here in Canada," Baird told reporters in his office on Parliament Hill, where the two posed for a photo-op.
The minister called the posting "an important political and security position in that part of the world."
Saturday, September 22, 2012
My observation: After 18 years of negotiations to achieve a Canada-China Foreign Investment Protection Agreement, the Chinese Ambassador now indicates that for Canada to obtain "guarantees that its companies will get greater access to investment and markets in China" that we now actually need to negotiate a comprehensive free trade agreement which "might take a few years, but less than a decade." Presumably in the meantime China intends to continue to widen its 4X trade disparity with Canada while interminable negotiations work to "address" Canada's concerns. And according to the Ambassador over this period Canada's concerns over allegations of widespread human rights abuse in China will also work themselves out through "improvement and development."
After 30 years of Chinese officials urging Western patience over trade and human rights concerns, this line of argument is starting to wear a bit thin. But clearly the Ambassador hopes to continue to play to Canadian naivete and gullibility for as long as it can be sustained.
Liberace-like the Chinese regime appears to be "laughing all the way to the bank."
An edited version of the above text appeared as letter to the Globe and Mail entitled "It's wearing thin" published on September 25: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/letters/sept-25-rue-britannia-and-other-letters-to-the-editor/article4565456/
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
What does October’s Chinese Communist Party National Congress mean for China and the World?—The Canadian International Council’s Toronto branch presents this panel discussion. Panellists include Charles Burton, Brock University, and Jeremy Paltiel, Carleton University. 6:30-9 p.m., $15 members; $20 non-members. Aird & Berlis LLP, 181 Bay St., 18th floor, Toronto, Ont. 416-590-0630 or email@example.com
Monday, September 10, 2012
From the DFAIT website (http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/fipa-apie/india-inde.aspx?lang=eng&view=d):
"Canada and India announced the conclusion of negotiations towards a bilateral Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) on June 16, 2007 during the visit to Ottawa of India's then Minister of Commerce & Industry, Mr. Kamal Nath. Both sides agreed to carry out their respective procedures leading to formal signature and ratification of the agreement. However, during this process, in October 2009, India notified Canada that it had some concerns with the agreed text. Canada is committed to this important investment agreement and efforts to negotiate a resolution to these issues have been underway since that time so that the agreement can be completed and ratified as soon as possible."
But to me the larger issue is that we have not seen the negotiated text yet.
Does it provide sufficient legal teeth to guarantees that Canadians will be treated fairly in the Chinese market?
Is this an agreement that the Chinese central authorities can or will actually enforce?
Will it help us to actually make some progress in the Chinese market?
I wonder about such things.
Saturday, September 08, 2012
China, Canada Sign FIPA Amid Nexen Review but it still has to be ratified by legislatures in both countries
Friday, September 07, 2012
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Insight: China ups lobbying game, but faces key tests in U.S., Canada
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Another article on this theme also quoting me September 26, 2012: http://www.canada.com/Canada+names+Saint+Jacques+ambassador+China/7302459/story.html
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Thursday, August 16, 2012
"Was Gu Kailai Guilty of Neil Heywood’s Murder?"
Was Gu Kailai Guilty of Neil Heywood’s Murder? - NYTimes.com
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Thursday, August 09, 2012
"CNOOC’s party committee has a party discipline inspection group whose head, Zhang Jianwei, is also a senior member of the CNOOC board. Mr. Zhang’s job is to make sure that all the leaders of Nexen comply with the secret directives of the party leadership in Beijing. Woe betide those who don’t follow the party’s will for CNOOC. They know that shuanggui awaits the recalcitrant who might want to put the interests of Nexen’s Canadian shareholders first."
Thursday, July 19, 2012
I am a little concerned that there has been no news on the economic complementarity study that the PM announced in China in February. If my memory serves it was to have come out in May. Not sure what the next steps are for getting the "negotiations completed" Canada-China Foreign Investment Protection Agreement to implementation either.
I was not encouraged by recent Chinese statements that Canadian diary products will not be allowed to have much share of the Chinese market due to "food security" concerns (http://www.bwob.ca/topics/global-issues/canada-and-china-remain-far-apart-on-trade-issues/). Because of 2 successive scandals over poisonous additives to Chinese processed milk products, Chinese consumers would probably have been happy to have a reliable pure Canadian diary option.
Baird Disappointed by Continued UNSC Paralysis / Canada's ambassador expects China to change Syria stance
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
September 27, 2012
Finnally justice was done and the murderer got a life sentence:
Friday, June 29, 2012
Can China still promote a man who campaigned against corruption while family accumulated 100s of millions of dollars?
Probably. There's likely too much at stake to alter the long-planned transition of power at this late hour. The party's leaders proved long ago that they put "stability" ahead of all other principles.
Part of the problem is there is likely no one in the leadership group who is any cleaner than Mr. Xi.
Xi Jinping, the man in line to be China's next president, warned
officials on a 2004 anti-graft conference call: "Rein in your
spouses, children, relatives, friends and staff, and vow not to use
power for personal gain."
As Xi climbed the Communist Party ranks, his extended family
expanded their business interests to include minerals, real estate
and mobile-phone equipment, according to public documents compiled
Those interests include investments in companies with total assets
of $376 million; an 18 percent indirect stake in a rare- earths
company with $1.73 billion in assets; and a $20.2 million holding
in a publicly traded technology company.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
But I am pretty sure that I won't be wrong again with this Canadian political prediction:
If Trudeau junior becomes leader of the Liberal Party, that Party will go the way of the other rock solid national institutions of my youth --- the Progressive Conservative Party, Eaton's stores and Bell Canada --- in short order.
I should just stick with Chinese political prognoses, I suppose.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The lawmakers asked both companies if they have "ever been ordered by the Chinese government to perform a task or seek information on behalf of the government""
They also asked the companies if any employees "ever attempted to obtain private information from an individual, company or government" through their company's network or equipment.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Read more: http://g2bulletin.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=4561#ixzz1xOKENE67
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Saturday, April 28, 2012
On top of everything else, His Holiness is one the great humourists of our times!!
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Friday, April 20, 2012
"Party corruption runs deep; Some suggest scandals will fade and pose no threat to the authoritarian rule of China's Communists. They are wrong."
Sunk by corruption, even in China - The Globe and Mail
There is a Chinese language TV interview with me on the same topic from OMNI TV Mandarin News of April 19 (starts at about 7:50): http://bcove.me/ot94vp3h
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Hard to know how factual this is, but it seems plausible.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Expulsion from the Party means no prospect of return to public life. Much more serious than simply being removed from posts. Bo Xilai's expulsion from Chinese Communist Party means his career is definitely and absolutely over. Never coming back.
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Press release from Minister Baird: http://www.international.gc.ca/media/aff/news-communiques/2012/04/3a.aspx?view=d
Article in National Post: http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/04/03/tories-shutter-troubled-rights-and-democracy-agency/?__lsa=b9697a1f
Sunday, April 01, 2012
1. Sending a strong politically connected ambassador sends a signal to Chinese that we are serious about upgrading the China relationship in Canada’s international priorities. It is a lot better than sending a bland DFAIT Mandarin. We need someone senior in this post.
2. This sort of person will not have one eye on going into business with the Chinese and getting rich after ambassadorship ends. Better not to have future personal Chinese plans overshadowing his pursuit of Canadian interests while still a humble incomed civil servant.
3. This sort of person is more likely to press on with follow through on the FIPA, etc.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
China urged to probe suspicious death of Briton who had links to purged Communist Party anti-corruption crusader | Mail Online
China urged to probe suspicious death of Briton who had links to purged Communist Party anti-corruption crusader | Mail Online
Monday, March 26, 2012
Australia has blocked Huawei Technologies of China from bidding on contracts in the $38 billion Australian National Broadband Network
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
Vancouver Sun Report on Allegatons of Chinese Cyber-Espionage: "China has not been behaving like a friend"
"An electronic stealth operation allegedly based in China hacks into Nortel Networks Inc., Canada's high-flying telecom superstar, loots its secrets for a decade and, says one cyber-security expert, contributes to the company's fatal implosion.
Queen's University professor David Skillicorn points out that after the hackers penetrated Nortel around 2000, they began stealing technical papers, research and development reports, and strategic business plans.
After that, Nortel couldn't compete for contracts "because the hackers had their technical knowledge, their financials, their bids, before they submitted them," Skillicorn told Postmedia News. "How can you compete in an environment like that? These hackers weren't into Nortel just out of curiosity. They were using the stuff they got.""
"Last year, as Finance Minister Jim Flaherty prepared for a G20 economic summit in Paris, hackers penetrated Canada's Treasury Board and department of finance computer networks. They also infiltrated the House of Commons network. Later analysis identified a particular interest in MPs with large numbers of ethnic Chinese in their constituencies.
Canada's Communications Security Establishment tracked this hacking operation to the Chinese embassy in Ottawa and from there to computer servers in Beijing, reported CTV News."
Saturday, February 25, 2012
China's embassy in Washington issued a statement to the WSJ specifically denying any involvement in the Nortel hacking, saying "cyber attacks were transnational and anonymous" and shouldn't be assumed to originate in China "without thorough investigation and hard evidence."
Thursday, February 23, 2012
I think the bottom line is that for the majority of the people of the world who are people of faith the importance of the freedom to practice their faith openly and without fear of harassment is self-evident. This is because for people of faith there is nothing more important than their faith. They are prepared to suffer imprisonment, deprivation, death rather than give up the precious belief that defines their lives, identities and souls. Nothing is more painful to them than the desecration of their holy places and the violation of their religious symbols and sacred objects.
These facts are evidently troubling to some who lack faith in their lives. They therefore deride the noble project of the Government of Canada to make promotion of religious freedom a central priority in Canadian foreign policy They attempt to reduce it to banal political motives.
They are wrong about this.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
"Intel Fight Over China Succession"
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Canadian companies such as RIM on the other hand have no reciprocal access to the resources of the Canadian Government's Communications Security Establishment of Canada, because RIM is a private company whose focus is profit for its shareholders. RIM does not have a mandate to further the interests of the Canadian state per se.
There is therefore a qualitative difference between Chinese state owned firms' investment in Canada and investments by purely commercial entities based in the USA and elsewhere, State-owned firms ultimately put the interests of the State that they are an arm of over all else.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
Canadians, he said, expect their prime minister to have a "good and frank dialogue on fundamental principles such as freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of belief and worship."
"Canadians also demand that their government be a responsible global citizen in dealing with the peace and security challenges that confront the world, and wherever we can, to urge other governments, including global actors like China, to do the same."
The fact Harper made the remarks in public meant they would register clearly with China's leaders—after Harper said he also raised them in private meetings this week.
But there is little likelihood the broader Chinese population would hear them through state-controlled media."
Thursday, February 09, 2012
February 9, 2012
- The two sides announced the conclusion of the substantive negotiations on the bilateral Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement. Both sides signed a declaration of intent and will work to finalise the text within their respective domestic processes.
- The leaders agreed that the joint study being done in the Canada-China Economic Partnership Working Group on areas where the two economies are complementary will be completed by May 2012, after which Canada and China will proceed to exploratory discussions on deepening trade and economic relations.
- With a view to strengthening bilateral cooperation in uranium trade and development, both sides held fruitful discussions and reached agreement in principle on a legal instrument to further implement the bilateral Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, which will facilitate exports of Canadian uranium to China. Both sides will work to finalise the text within their respective domestic processes.
- The two sides renewed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Concerning Cooperation in the Field of Energy between Natural Resources Canada and the National Energy Administration of China.
- The two sides announced their intent to conclude the substantive negotiations for an updated Canada-China Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation. Both sides will work together to finalise the text within their respective domestic processes.
- The two sides announced the conclusion of substantive negotiations on the amendment to the Canada-China Air Transport Agreement. Both sides will work together to finalise the text within their respective domestic processes.
- The two sides signed the Protocol between the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China and on Quarantine and Health Requirements for Industrial Beef Tallow to be exported from Canada to China.
- The two sides signed a Cooperative Arrangement on Inspection and Quarantine Access Issues between the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China.
- The two sides signed an MOU between the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China on a Cooperative Plan for Leptosphaeria Maculans Risk Mitigation (Joint Canola Research).
- The two sides agreed to sign an MOU between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of Canada and the Ministry of Agriculture of China on Fisheries Cooperation at an early date.
- The two sides signed the statement of intent for cooperation in the area of science, technology and innovation, and announced the third batch of Canada-China science and technology cooperation projects.
- The two sides signed the MOU on Cooperation between the Natural Resources Canada and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in the Sustainable Development of Natural Resources.
- The two sides reaffirmed their intention to strengthen cooperation in combatting transnational crime and repatriating fugitives in accordance with their respective laws, and to enhance judicial and law enforcement cooperation, and agreed to launch negotiations on an agreement on the sharing of the proceeds of crime.
- The two sides renewed the MOU between the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and the Education Ministry of China on the Canada-China Scholars' Exchange Program, and agreed to explore additional means to expand two-way academic exchange, aspiring to reach the goal of 100,000 students studying in each other's countries within five years. The two sides recognise that there is a particular need to encourage more Canadian students to study in China.
- The two sides highlighted the complementary nature of their respective civil aviation industries and the important role they play in contributing to growth and prosperity in both Canada and China, and undertook to strengthen collaboration in this area.
- The two sides plan on holding a series of cultural activities in each other's countries in 2013 and 2014.
- Following agreement by Canada and China, the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens will sign an agreement with the Toronto and Calgary zoos to provide a pair of giant pandas for 10 years of collaborative research on conservation.
- The two sides signed the MOU between the Parks Canada Agency and the State Forestry Administration of China for cooperation on matters related to protected areas.
- Both sides applauded the upgrading of Canada's Consulate in Chongqing to Consulate-General.
- The Chinese side welcomed the availability of multiple entry Canadian visas for Chinese citizens valid for a period of up to 10 years. The relevant authorities will undertake bilateral consultations on further simplifying visa procedures.
- The two sides reaffirmed that Canada and China have important shared interests in promoting peace, security and sustainable development regionally and globally, and agreed to enhance coordination and cooperation in the UN, G20, APEC and other multilateral institutions as well as on major international and regional issues. The two sides agreed that Canada and China are ready to work constructively with other countries in the region to enhance peace, security and stability in Asia-Pacific.
- During the visit, more than 20 commercial agreements were signed between enterprises of the two countries.
The Prime Minister's Office - Communications
China Radio International ran an edited interview with me on February 10: http://media.iphone.cri.cn/features/pik/2012/02/0210pik.mp3 (my part starts about 15:20 in). My references to Huseyin Celil, China's commitments re: yuan exchange rate at G-20, etc., etc. were removed. Some of the editing even took phrases out of single sentences.
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
What Canadian investors want to see before they can feel confident in dealings with China is a FIPA that is based in effective measures to guarantee that Chinese contractual obligations will be enforced through a fair legal process. A FIPA whose provisions are more rhetorical than concrete and subject to arbitrary interpretation by local authorities and weakened by carve outs and escape clauses gets us no where.
But it is hard for China's Central government to undertake an international treaty obligation with Canada that gives Canadian investment preferential treatment over that of other nations who wish to do business in China. Moreover China's Central government would have difficulty implementing an effective Canadian FIPA at the local levels.
In the final analysis the real answer ultimately lies in strong and effective and comprehensive domestic legislation in China to tame China's "wild west" business culture and make it possible for all contractual disputes to be subject to mediation by due process of law that would treat all parties in a just and fair manner.
FIPAs are really just a stop gap that can never substitute for that.
Saturday, February 04, 2012
Friday, February 03, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
Foreign Minister John Baird renewed his criticism of China's crackdown on religious freedom in a speech Monday in London.
"In China, we see Roman Catholic priests, Christian clergy and their laity, worshipping outside of state-sanctioned boundaries, who are continually subject to raids, arrests, and detention," Baird said in a prepared text.
"We see Falun Gong practitioners, Tibetan Buddhists, and Uyghur Muslims face harassment, and physical intimidation. These abhorrent acts fly in the face of our core principals, our core values."
Sunday, January 22, 2012
That evening after the Chinese supper was done, the lights dimmed in the hall and the line of girls walked out to the middle of the stage. Cue the music. And they sang out in pure and clear voices radiating with the innocence of Canadian children:
With glowing hearts we see thee rise
The truth north strong and free!
From far and wide, Oh Canada
We stand on guard for thee!
God keep our land glorious and free!
We stand on guard for thee.
My eyes watered a little.
When I am grown old, I will happily leave my Canada in their tender care.
Then the cymbals crashed and the drum boomed and the Lion Dance started our Chinese show off with flurry of joyful noise.