Thursday, August 03, 2017
The Canadian Coalition on Human Rights in China* has sent an open letter to Chrystia Freeland, the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, to urge her to work closely with allies to lead a concerted global campaign to win Liu Xia freedom. Moreover, to demand Canadian government to demonstrate strong global human rights leadership by continuing to press for Liu Xia's unconditional freedom and by offering her safe haven through an invitation to come and live in Canada.
*The Canadian Coalition on Human Rights in China is made up of 15 Canadian organizations dedicated to ensuring there is strong attention to human rights in Canada's relationship in China. The 15 organizations include:
Amnesty International Canada (English & Francophone Branches), ARC International, Canada-Hong Kong Link, Canada Tibet Committee, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Canadian Labour Congress, Falun Dafa Association of Canada, Federation for a Democratic China, Movement for Democracy in China (Calgary), PEN Canada, Students for a Free Tibet Canada, Toronto Association for Democracy in China, the Uyghur Canadian Society and the Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement in China.
Full Text of the Open Letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland:
August 2, 2017
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland
Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
We write this Open Letter to you as members of the Canadian Coalition on Human Rights in China,1 urging that the Canadian government and you personally continue make determined efforts to seek the unconditional release of LIU Xia, the widow of LIU Xiaobo, who is currently under house arrest in China.
We have very much welcomed your clear support of LIU Xia following her husband’s tragic death; and urge you to go further and work closely with allies to lead a concerted global campaign to win her freedom. Doing so would send a powerful message to China that Canada and others in the international community do not and will not tolerate the ongoing persecution and repression she has endured.
As you know, LIU Xia has been kept in house arrest and isolation since October 2010. As a result, she has suffered from psychological stress, anxiety and depression. The latest we have heard is that she has been forcibly sent away from her home. Her crime? She refused to stay silent and desist from trying to secure the release of her wrongfully-imprisoned husband, while he was still alive.
On July 13, 2017, after LIU Xiaobo’s death in custody, the first Nobel Peace Laureate to die in state custody since Nazi Germany, you tweeted:
Terribly sad that this champion of human rights has died. We mourn his loss but his message of hope and freedom will endure. #LIUXiaobo
And again on July 16, 2017, you tweeted to the world and spoke out for his widow LIU Xia on behalf of all Canadians:
“Canada continues to call on the Chinese govt to release #LIUXia and offer her safe passage out of China, according to her wishes. #LIUXiaobo
Artist, poet and human rights defender LIU Xia was placed under house arrest by the Chinese authorities after it was announced that her late husband LIU Xiaobo was to receive the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. She has faced heavy surveillance and harassment; treatment that continues today even after her husband’s death.
At this time it is crucial that Chinese authorities hear a clear message from the international community insisting that LIU Xia’s punishment end and that she be allowed safe passage out of China according to her wishes; as you have urged.
As such, we look to Canada, working alongside other concerned nations, to demonstrate strong global human rights leadership by continuing to press for Liu Xia’s unconditional freedom and by offering her safe haven through an invitation to come and live in Canada. We have no doubt that many in the Chinese-Canadian and human rights communities would enthusiastically provide sponsorship and whatever support is required in bringing her here.
LIU Xiaobo leaves behind a powerful legacy that will inspire the world to continue the struggle for human rights. A particularly meaningful and personal tribute to him will be to ensure that LIU Xia, his widow, is free to do the same.
Minister, we hope that you will continue to raise this urgent human rights case with Chinese counterparts at every opportunity, that you will encourage Prime Minister Trudeau to do similarly and that you will actively forge a partnership with other governments so that Chinese authorities clearly understand that this demand comes from many within the international community.
With leadership and determined diplomacy we are confident that we can indeed succeed to “Free Liu Xia.”
Amnesty International Canada (English branch)
On behalf of the Canadian Coalition for Human Rights in China
Friday, July 07, 2017
Engaging China Poses Potential Risk to Canada's National Security: Charles Burton for Inside Policy (Macdonald-Laurier Institute)
"Closer ties with China carries worrisome implications for Canada’s national security, writes Charles Burton. The asymmetrical nature of the relationship suggests that China may leverage economic incentives to further its geopolitical regime goals.
This piece is part of The China Debates series for Inside Policy, with commissioned articles from leading world experts exploring different elements of China’s rise as a great power."
"China nixed any notions about universal suffrage in Hong Kong, instead introducing pro-Party curriculum in schools, intimidating independent media and illegally relocating several Hong Kong residents deemed hostile to the Beijing regime to the mainland. This betrayal has been met with public outrage and massive protests in the streets, including one in 2014 that occupied some districts of downtown Hong Kong for three months.
More and more young Hong Kongers are now demanding genuine autonomy, if not outright independence, from China, renouncing their Mandarin-based Chinese-ness in favour of a localized Cantonese Hong Kong identity. When some of this new generation were recently democratically elected to the local legislature, China’s No. 3 state leader Zhang Dejiang warned that Hong Kong must be governed by “patriots who sincerely support China’s sovereignty.”
Politically, things are volatile and dangerously uncertain in Hong Kong, and it matters a lot to Canada. There are 300,000 Canadian citizens in Hong Kong, and half a million Canadians of Hong Kong origin reside in Canada. That’s a strong Canadian connection for a place with just seven million residents."
Tuesday, June 06, 2017
PROF. JOHN FITZGERALD: Well every government of course has an interest in promoting itself abroad to extending its soft power.
I guess what's different about China is the way in which its run through these clandestine operations.
It's just not out there and open.
Secondly, it's really not out to win an argument, it's out to silence dissent and other countries generally don't operate that way.
They expect to win an argument on its strengths, not to silence all opposition.
The way the Chinese Government or Party through the United Front Department and the Overseas Chinese Bureau operates is effectively to control and silence dissent.
. . .
PROF. RORY MEDCALF: There's an awareness of a problem, but the agencies themselves don't have the mandate or the wherewithal to manage the problem.
All they can do is sound the alarm and alert the political class.
The political class needs to take a set of decisions in the interest of Australian sovereignty, in the interest of Australia's independence policy making, to restrict and limit foreign influence in Australian decision making.
CHRIS UHLMANN: After being briefed on the Four Corners-Fairfax investigation, the Attorney General sent us a statement revealing the Prime Minister has asked him to conduct a major inquiry into Australia's espionage and foreign interference laws.
Senator Brandis said, "the threat of political interference by foreign intelligence services is a problem of the highest order and it is getting worse."
Monday, June 05, 2017
My Opinion Piece in the Globe and Mail this Morning: "Free-trade talks with China: Proceed with caution"
Canada must not be placed in a position whereby proactively speaking out for and defending human rights in China comes at an economic cost to Canada imposed by China, once our economies are integrated through a binding free-trade treaty. Other countries with high economic dependence on China now tread very softly on concerns about Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong, cyberespionage, arbitrary arrests of lawyers and political dissidents and the growing practice of Chinese security forces and policy to operate ever more boldly in foreign jurisdictions, including Canada.
It is also critical that Ottawa demonstrate it will scrutinize all Chinese state investment in Canada, to ensure that our economic integration with China is strictly based on trade and investment reciprocity.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
"Former Canadian diplomat Charles Burton, who served in Beijing, said Mr. Li appears to be pressing China's advantage now that the Trudeau government has allowed O-Net to take over ITF Technologies, a Montreal-based firm involved in sophisticated laser technology with military applications.
Sunday, April 16, 2017
My Opinion piece: "China is paralyzed on looming North Korea threat. Will Trump show restraint? - The Globe and Mail"
"The post-Kim fallout of a German-like reunification of Korea would be profoundly politically destabilizing for China. The opening of the secret police files and the seeking of redress by the politically wronged, followed by the inevitable public trials for corruption and political venality of China’s “lips and teeth” North Korean political and military elite would trigger huge interest among citizens of China. Parallels to the Chinese system would be too closely drawn for the Chinese Communist Party leadership to explain away, and the threat this poses to mainland Chinese political stability could well be the beginning of the end of the Chinese Communist Party’s single-party authoritarian rule. Moreover, the files would likely show PRC regime complicity in a lot of matters relating to the DPRK that would severely debase China’s international prestige."
Monday, April 10, 2017
Monday, April 03, 2017
“My job is partly to persuade China to do things, but my job is also to persuade Canada to get its own act in order,” Mr. McCallum said. He expects to return to Canada every six to eight weeks. There are “things that people in Canada are doing which are impeding our agenda over here,” he said.
Friday, March 31, 2017
Saturday, March 04, 2017
Friday, February 17, 2017
China sees similar advantage in weaning Canada away from our economic and political alliance with the United States, but it also expects to get compromises that further its regime interests. Canada has already ceded ground on this, making recent concessions – with no promise whatsoever of reciprocal considerations – to ease limits on Chinese state investment in Canada; seize and repatriate assets of certain Chinese nationals in Canada; and (inexplicably) reverse a national security review that prevented a Beijing-backed concern from buying Canadian advanced laser technology with military application for directed-energy weapons that China is desperate to develop.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Today, Xi Jinping’s regime is militarily aggressive and much more demanding of nations where China has established economic leverage through strategic trade and investment agreements.
More China in the Canadian economy appears to be Canada’s future as the U.S. lapses into protectionism. In trying to negotiate a free trade with China, a key issue for Canada will be, do we have to negotiate away our commitment to Canadian liberal and democratic values to get the deal?
In a statement posted on the WeChat account of the Tomorrow Group, published on Tuesday and purportedly from Mr Xiao, said he was overseas for medical treatment and would return “soon”.
In the statement, which was subsequently deleted by censors, he denied he had been “abducted to the mainland”. He said he was a Canadian citizen and Hong Kong permanent resident who was protected by the Canadian consulate and Hong Kong law. He added that he “had never harmed the interests of the country” or “supported any opposition organisation”.
. . .
It is common for Chinese businesspeople and others detained by China’s powerful security apparatus to be pressed to release messages through social media, email or via their families insisting that all is fine.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
"The law would require the US president to identify persons responsible for the surveillance, abduction, detention or forced confessions of booksellers and journalists in Hong Kong or other actions suppressing basic freedoms, and to freeze their US-based assets and deny them entry into the country."
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Jiang questioned Swiss leaders' control over their country and remarked that they risked "losing a good friend".
China and Switzerland forged a free trade agreement in 2014 and Swiss companies count China among their most important markets.