Monday, November 10, 2014

My Op-Ed "Why is Harper in China? The ethnic vote. And money" - The Globe and Mail

Why is Harper in China? The ethnic vote. And money - The Globe and Mail

"Chinese media reports of the Harper visit focused on boosting relations, increasing trade and “building mutual trust.” This seems to mean trusting Beijing’s assurances that Ottawa should have no cause for concern about allegations of pervasive serious human rights abuse in China, or about Chinese cyber espionage threatening Canadian security. Indeed there were many photographs of Mr. Harper and his accompanying cabinet ministers laughing and smiling and giving the impression that they thoroughly enjoyed interacting with leaders of the Chinese Communist Party.

But it is hard to imagine that Mr. Harper was genuinely building bonds of friendship at his lengthy Friday meeting with Xiao Baolong, the Communist Party Secretary of Zhejiang province. Mr. Xiao is currently currying favour with the leadership in Beijing by systematically suppressing Christianity. Hundreds of churches have been ordered to remove visible crosses from their buildings, and many churches have been completely razed on the premise of “building code violations” – including the heart-rending destruction of the magnificent, recently constructed Sanjiang Cathedral that could seat 3,000 worshippers."

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