Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Two Chinese reporters banned from Prime Minister's Arctic trip: video

The Prime Minister's Office will not allow two Chinese reporters to join a trip to the arctic.

Two Chinese reporters banned from arctic trip : Prime time : SunNews Video Gallery

Pat Bolland's interview with me broadcast on SUN TV on August 19, 2014.

Friday, August 15, 2014

My Comments on Chinese Ambassador's Op-Ed Relating to the Garratts' Incarceration

Chinese Ambassador Luo Zhaohui has published an Op-Ed in the Globe and Mail: "China and Canada: We can manage our differences" http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/china-and-canada-we-can-manage-our-differences/article20074157/

Commentary about it is given here: "Chinese envoy offers olive branch on Garratts’ detention in Globe letter"

My own Op-Ed about the Garratts incarceration "Canadians detained in China are pawns in a bigger geopolitical game" can be read at: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/canadians-detained-in-china-are-pawns-in-a-bigger-geopolitical-game/article19946529/

My take on it: The Ambassador's Op-Ed follows the standard messaging of the Chinese Foreign Ministry to Western nations. Our strongly held concerns about China's human rights record, Chinese state espionage, and China's support for repressive regimes in the Third World are pejoratively dismissed as "bumps and grumps."  The notion that we should "manage our differences" really implies that we should set these serious concerns aside and focus on "practical cooperation" in trade and investment.  The reference to "face up to individual cases and properly handle our differences" almost certainly refers to the Ambassador's concern about the Garratts' arrest on blatantly trumped up charges of espionage as he puts it "kidnapping our bilateral relations."

To my understanding the Garratts are being held by the Ministry of State Security.  The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has little influence over the much more powerful Ministry of State Security.  The Ambassador will be held to account by his Government if under his ambassadorship Canada-China relations flounder.  So I would imagine that Mr. Luo would be much relieved if the Garratts were deported back to Canada.  I fervently hope that this will happen.  But I see this Op-Ed as a defensive public plea in the face of the Embassy's considerable concern over what they are hearing from DFATD about the potential impact of the Garratts continuing incarceration on Canada's China policy.