Wednesday, August 24, 2016

My Opinion Piece in the Globe and Mail this Morning "Visit to China a tricky one for Trudeau"

Visit to China a tricky one for Trudeau - The Globe and Mail

"This file has never been easy. In the 1970s, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, in extraordinary naiveté, admired the Communist leaders of his time, Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, as good and wise rulers dedicated to revolutionary social justice. This as millions of Chinese were being subject to torture in the name of Marxist ideological remoulding, with untold numbers left to die in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

By the 1990s, Mr. Chrétien reached out to Chinese Premier Li Peng – a key player in the violent suppression of the 1989 Tiananmen Movement – on the basis that economic engagement with the West would lead China to a democratic transition. To this end, he agreed to give tacit consent to China’s human rights violations by a “going-through-themotions” engagement of China on human rights behind closed doors.

Now, our Prime Minister wants to build a new relationship on a palatable moral foundation. Unfortunately for China’s Communist Party under General Secretary Xi Jinping, the democracy and human rights train has left the station and won’t be coming back on his watch."

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