Is the senator working in the best interests of Canada by attempting to whitewash the sins of the Chinese government?
Sen. Woo blithely ignored countless other illiberal, authoritarian practices by ChinaMost pointedly, Sen. Woo sidestepped the plight of the two Michaels (Kovrig and Spavor), who were essentially kidnapped by Chinese authorities, tried on dubious espionage charges, and who have been detained now for more than two years in dreadful conditions “justified by COVID,” and denied anything other than symbolic consular assistance. One would think that no-one supposedly representing the Canadian government could make any speech about China without mentioning the despicable treatment of these two Canadian citizens.
Along with this hostage diplomacy in retaliation for Canadian co-operation with an American bid to extradite Madam Meng Wanzhou to the U.S., China continues to abuse basic WTO trade norms by discriminating bully-style against Canadian agricultural imports.
In a separate newspaper opinion piece written with Prof. Paul Evans, Sen. Woo claimed that criticism of the domestic and international policies of China is driving “anti-Chinese racism” in Canada. Yet, he and Evans failed to acknowledge that much of this criticism is well-founded by intelligence agencies, scholars and experts on national security who are understandably concerned about Chinese attempts to infiltrate university research and steal Canadian technologies.
The claim that the Chinese government is more popular than governments in Canada and the U.S. is preposterous
Instead of believing that human beings, like markets, are best given as much freedom as possible, the Chinese Communist Party contends that almost every aspect of human life requires oversight and intervention. As Bruce Dickson wrote in The Party and the People, it “will not tolerate demands that would challenge its monopoly on power.” Endless re-education and re-certification campaigns and the power of the gun are what enable the Chinese regime to maintain a stranglehold on absolute power. If that is the style of government Sen. Woo prefers, then he is living in the wrong country.
By indulging in false comparisons and ignoring the litany of abuses committed by Chinese authoritarians on their own people, as well as on innocent Canadians, Sen. Woo and a few foreign affairs cohorts in the Senate give new depth to the apologist term “panda hugger,” a term used by Australian author Clive Hamilton to denigrate similar pro-Chinese regime sentiments expressed by retired Australian politicians well before their country’s current deep freeze with China.
Derek H. Burney was Chief of Staff to the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney from 1987-1989 and Ambassador to the United States of America from 1989 -1993.