Friday, October 30, 2015

My Op-Ed in today's Globe and Mail "Goodbye to the Age of China's "Little Emperors"

"Perhaps the greatest benefit of the policy change will be sociological. Under the one-child policy, most children are overindulged by two parents and four grandparents. They have no brothers or sisters, cousins, or uncles and aunts. All the expectations of the generations fall onto their young shoulders, and the pressure to succeed can be crushing and character-distorting. Moreover, these “little emperors” tend to grow up with an exaggerated sense of self-importance and often lack the social sensibilities necessary to a civil society.
The termination of this policy is a rare piece of good news out of China, and should be welcomed. It’s likely that Chinese couples with only one child will be turning in early tonight."

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Terry Glavin: Welcoming back the Liberal old guard | National Post

Terry Glavin: Welcoming back the Liberal old guard | National Post

I highly recommend this article.

"For the millions of Canadians who voted for Justin Trudeau in the hopes of a break from the past, the appointment of the grizzled mandarin Peter Harder to lead Trudeau’s transition to power doesn’t look like a harbinger of a fresh new start.

For anyone hoping that Ottawa will not fall back into the clutches of the old Liberal establishment that Trudeau was supposed to have overthrown, Harder’s appointment should ring an alarm bell or two. For anyone concerned about effective global action on climate change, or Canada’s approach to the obscenities of human rights abuses in China, those bells should be ringing from the rooftops."

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Letter to a Friend Who Opposes the Concept of "Canadian Values"

Dear John,

It is good to hear from you again.

I think it would be fair to say that "Canadian values" have implicit within them "universal values." Of course every nation that chooses to become a member of the United Nations is required to acknowledge the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Canada has also ratified covenants that elaborate on the UDHR starting with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights.  Once ratified, the values underlying these treaties have to be accepted as "Canadian values."  But the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does have implicit in it certain values which while fully consistent with "universal values" are distinctive to Canada.

We reject any national values that are at cross purposes to universal values.  But Canada supports the idea that nations have values which reflect their own cultural traditions. But universal values always trump national values.

Best regards.


Monday, October 26, 2015

My Op-Ed in Globe Mail: "Relations with China should hinge on more than short-term economic value"

Relations with China should hinge on more than short-term economic value - The Globe and Mail

"Willingness to seriously engage the once-isolated China was a positive hallmark of past Liberal governments, from Pierre Trudeau on, but the dynamics of that relationship have changed considerably since that era. It would be negligent to not appreciate the threat to Canadian sovereignty and interests posed by Beijing’s non-democratic, nationalistic, expansionist Leninist politics.    .    .    . Clearly, “quiet diplomacy” has had no discernible positive impact, but rather functions as tacit consent for egregious Chinese regime behaviour. Canada should have no further part of it. We simply lose the respect of the Chinese regime if we do not speak out honestly and constructively about our concerns over China’s human-rights violations, support for rogue dictators, cyberespionage and underhanded attempts to subvert the decisions of Canadian political leaders to further China’s state interests."

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

"Trudeau victory may bolster chances for FTA with China" published in the China Daily on October 21, 2015

My views are quoted in Paul Werlizkin's report "Trudeau victory may bolster chances for FTA with China" published in the China Daily on October 21, 2015:

I do expect that Canada will ratify the TPP under the Trudeau government.  I would imagine that Canada will further support Chinese entry into the TPP. Mr Trudeau is on record as supporting much more Chinese state investment in Canada to build Canadian prosperity. He believes that it is important to Canada's future prosperity to engage the Government of China as closely as possible and therefore will likely not emphasise human rights and security concerns to the same extent as the Harper government. I would therefore expect that under Justin Trudeau we may adopt a China policy similar to that of Great Britain.

Here are Paul's original questions and my answers by e-mail:
Will Trudeau's win change China-Canada relations and if so in what area (immigration, trade, investment etc.)?
While it is unlikely that the new Justin Trudeau government will have a different policy on Canada – China immigration, Mr Trudeau has been very clear that it will be a priority for his government to encourage much higher levels of Chinese trade and especially Chinese investment in Canada. I expect that early on his mandate he will direct the Canadian Government to very proactively respond to the suggestions of the Chinese authorities on how to make Canada a much more attractive investment venue for Chinese State enterprises seeking to invest abroad.

Are the Chinese relieved that the Harper government is out?
The Harper government put a lot of stress on human rights and allegations of espionage in its China policy. It is likely that the Government of China will be very happy to see a new Canadian Government that like the British Government will align itself more closely with China's foreign policy interests and priorities.

Does Trudeau's win improve the chances for a free trade agreement with China?
I am confident that a Trudeau Government will look very closely at the Government of China's proposal to establish a free trade agreement with Canada and that this will likely be realised before the next election four years from now.