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

National Post Report Alleges Suspicions on Huawei: "Nortel hacked to bits"

"Mr. Shields was convinced there were criminals working on behalf of China's Huawei Technologies Co. accessing the CEO's files, but his hunch hadn't been enough for his immediate bosses to grant him direct access to the top man's PC.

"I went on my own then and pulled the Web logs from Mike Z. since I had access to those kinds of logs back then," the 53-year-old Nortel veteran recalls. It was there he finally found the digital smoking gun he had spent years trying to find."

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."

Nortel hacked to bits

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why Do I Have to Keep Defending the Office of Religious Freedom?

The Canadian International Council sent me another mass mailing to promote their new debate series entitled: "The New Missionaries: Should Canada Promote Religious Freedom Abroad?" (  It certainly gets off on the wrong foot with the reference to "new missionaries."  The Government of Canada clearly has no intention to proselytize religion domestically or internationally.  So why is the CIC being so wrong-headed in framing the debate in this way?

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.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Thoughts on State Capitalism and Cyber-Espionage

CTV National News ran an item last night alleging years-long Chinese state involvement in hacking into the Nortel comnpany's computers and removing information about new technologies and about confidential commercial negotiations (Hackers had 'widespread access' to Nortel's network  via ) It is logical that Chinese large state-owned enterprises, whose heads are appointed by the Organization Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, should have full access to all of the resources of the Chinese state.  This would include the use of intelligence agencies to get them information on rival proprietary technologies and information on their competitors' commercial negotiations.

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.

Legal, political hurdles ahead for China investment deal | Embassy - Canada's Foreign Policy Newspaper

Friday, February 10, 2012

China Refuses to Allow PM Visit TV Transmission from Chongqing

@cburton001: China blocks transmission of Canadian television footage of Harper - Winnipeg Free Press

PM's Comments on Human Rights in Guangzhou Reported by the Toronto Star

""Taking things to the next level" with China means recognizing "we should engage more deeply" not just on trade, he said, but on "fundamental national values."

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

Joint List of Outcomes of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Visit to China

Joint List of Outcomes of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Visit to China

February 9, 2012
Beijing, China

At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper paid an official visit to China from February 7 to 11. During the visit, President Hu Jintao, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao held meetings with Prime Minister Harper. Vice Premier Li Keqiang met Prime Minister Harper and both attended and addressed the 5th Canada-China Business Forum.
The leaders reaffirmed the guiding principles outlined in the Canada-China Joint Statement of 2009 and their commitment to strengthen the Canada-China strategic partnership. Both sides agreed to maintain frequent high-level exchanges, reinforce political trust, expand practical cooperation, increase people-to-people exchanges, and strengthen consultation and cooperation on international and regional issues in the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. The leaders also agreed to bring the economic partnership to the next level by improving the bilateral investment regime. At the same time, the two sides agreed to deepen economic and trade cooperation, and step up cooperation in the areas of energy and other natural resources including oil and gas, nuclear energy, renewable energy, forest products and minerals. These developments will be strengthened by expanded cooperation in the fields of agriculture, high technology, clean technology, environmental protection, life-sciences, bio-pharmacy, civil aviation and financial services, and among small and medium-sized enterprises, so as to cultivate new growth points of mutually-beneficial cooperation. Both sides agreed to elevate education as a new strategic priority of the bilateral relationship. Both sides also agreed to increase dialogue and exchanges on human rights, on the basis of equality and mutual respect, to promote and protect human rights consistent with the Charter of the United Nations and international human rights instruments.
Having reached consensus, the two sides announced a series of important developments and signed relevant agreements. These include the following:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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).
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. The two sides plan on holding a series of cultural activities in each other's countries in 2013 and 2014.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Both sides applauded the upgrading of Canada's Consulate in Chongqing to Consulate-General.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. During the visit, more than 20 commercial agreements were signed between enterprises of the two countries.

The Prime Minister's Office - Communications

My Interview with Radio China International

China Radio International ran an edited interview with me on February 10: (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

My Thoughts on Canada's FIPA Negotiations with China

I think it would be a mistake for Canada to get locked in to a weak FIPA with China that does not genuinely ensure fair treatment for all Canadian investment in China.

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.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Prime Minister Harper's Statement on Canada-China Relations to National Post Today

We've always been very clear that when it comes to all countries, and particularly dealing with an emerging superpower like China that a relationship be balanced across the range of issues. There are not just economic and trade issues when it comes to the Chinese relationship. There are also security issues, and there are also human rights and democratic issues. And we've always been clear that we will speak our mind on these things, we will be very frank with the Chinese leadership about our concerns. And that's what we've always done. And I think as you will recall, when we came to office, the argument of many, some of our opponents and many outside that, was that you simply could not raise or keep these issues on the agenda and pursue a good economic relationship. I think that's proven to be false. As you see, if anything our trade and investment has increased more quickly under this government and we have continued to express our concerns, and will continue to do so. I think the Chinese, at first, were not used to that approach from Canada. They expected that Canada would not vocalize any issues that were the least bit troubling to them. That was the approach they were used to from the government. I think now they understand that this is a government that has somewhat of a different agenda, that we have a more balanced approach across a range of issues, that we are clearer and more outspoken on foreign policy than our predecessors. But at the same time we are also committed to mutually beneficial economic relations. And that's what we are going to pursue.