Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Globe and Mail - China’s Premier urges Trudeau to relax controls on high-tech exports


"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.
"The reversal of the decision on the O-Net acquisition was really unprecedented in Canada," Mr. Burton said. "Certainly, the fact the Chinese Premier is now flagging high-tech suggests the Chinese government is hoping that Canada will be transferring more high-technology that they may not be able to acquire from other countries and maybe indicating that this will be an important condition of the upcoming free-trade negotiations. … They are seeing this as something they are expecting from Canada now that we have done it with the laser technology."
Mr. Burton said the Prime Minister must be cautious in the trade negotiations that it is not bullied by Beijing to give up key technology, especially when Canada's Five-Eyes intelligence-sharing partners have restrictions on such transfer, including U.S. firms operating in this country.
"The United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand would all be concerned if they felt classified technology was being passed on to China through Canada. I think that would really cause them to question our commitment to the alliance," he said."

Sunday, April 16, 2017

My Opinion piece: "China is paralyzed on looming North Korea threat. Will Trump show restraint? - The Globe and Mail"

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

Canadians wary of deeper economic ties with China: poll - The Globe and Mail

Canadians wary of deeper economic ties with China: poll - The Globe and Mail

Former Canadian diplomat and China expert Charles Burton said the poll makes it clear “most Canadians do not agree” with Mr. McCallum or Mr. Lu when they say human rights should not form part of trade talks.
Mr. Burton said it also suggests Canadians do not want Chinese state-owned companies acquiring majority control of Canadian companies in sensitive sectors such as the oil sands or technology with military applications.
The former Canadian diplomat said Canada should be on guard for language the Chinese may wish to insert in a free-trade deal that could hinder Ottawa’s ability to speak out against human-rights abuses.
“I think the Chinese would attempt to do that … text that talks of mutual respect for the sovereignty of each nation and non-interference in domestic affairs – the kind of language the Chinese could use to press a government,” Mr. Burton said.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Canadian Ambassador Concerned About Canadians Impeding His "Agenda" in China


“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.