I went to Beijing in 1995 and stood up to the Chinese government on human rights and women’s rights.Words fail me.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
China is making "incremental progress" in human rights and is likely to continue making "steady forward movement" in the future, according to a confidential report by Canadian diplomats in Beijing.
The report, obtained by The Globe and Mail, suggests that Canada's diplomats have a much rosier view of China than those expressed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his cabinet ministers, who have been highly critical of China's human-rights record.
The G&M then comes up with the understatement of the year: "There have been growing signs of a rift between the Harper cabinet and the diplomatic service." The only trouble is, the "diplomatic service" appears to be in a parallel universe when it comes to Communist China (emphasis added):
The confidential report by the Canadian embassy in Beijing, obtained under access-to-information law, is filled with praise for many aspects of China's human-rights record, although it also has negative assessments of many issues. It suggests a far more nuanced and cautious view of China than the sharply critical views often expressed by Conservative politicians in recent
The report argues, for example, that China's dissidents are getting better treatment these days, because their prison sentences are often less than five years, which is "a marked contrast" to the jail terms of 15 or 20 years in the past.
The report also maintains that Chinese scholars "continue to enjoy increasing intellectual freedom." It praises the "steady increase in personal freedoms of the average person." And it argues that the Chinese authorities "may be losing the battle to control the Internet."
For sensible people, the notion that "scholars" in Communist China "enjoy increasing freedom" is utterly risible. As for the "battle to control the Internet," perhaps the Canadian Embassy staff didn't notice the cadres signing up Google and Yahoo as heavies in the crackdown.
As for Prime Minister Harper, he can take solace in the rule of thumb we have down here: when the diplomats are this upset with you, you must be doing something right.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
The pace and success of China’s military modernization continue to exceed U.S. government estimates. Indeed, on occasion the U.S. defense and intelligence communities have been taken by surprise, as in the case of the launching of the Jin class submarine by the navy of the People’s Liberation Army. China’s defense industry is producing new generations of weapon platforms with impressive speed and quality, and these advancements are due in part to the highly effective manner in which Chinese defense companies are integrating commercial technologies into military systems. Additionally, industrial espionage provides Chinese companies an added source of new technology without the necessity of investing time or money to perform research. Chinese espionage in the United States, which now comprises the single greatest threat to U.S. technology, is straining the U.S. counterintelligence establishment. This illicit activity significantly contributes to China’s military modernization and acquisition of new capabilities.Who's "engagement" is this?
Friday, November 16, 2007
We'll start with the bad news, courtesy of Friendly Blog Stephen Taylor:
The CBC has recently come under fire for rescheduling and retooling a Falun Gong documentary at the 11th hour. The state-funded broadcaster admitted to reacting to requests by the Chinese government to pull the doc and provide 'balance' . . .Said "balance" went further than that - even to the point of the CBC conveniently forgetting the Communists' history of poison exports.
In an earlier era, the CBC's antics would have embarrassed all Canadians. However, things are different now, and the Canadian people can look past the CBC debacle, and see their elected leaders act with honor (Embassy):
Canada is therefore starting to engage in more frank and more public diplomacy with China on our human rights concerns. The prime minister's recent meeting with the Dalai Lama was mostly about sending a message to the regime in Beijing, which is that we respect the Tibetan cultural identity and oppose Chinese government measures designed to suppress it.Once again, Canada can be proud of its leaders, and of the choice it made to elect Stephen Harper nearly two years ago.
Friday, November 02, 2007
This past Monday, Stephen Harper became the first Prime Minister in Canadian history to host the Dalai Lama in his office (CTV). As one would expect, Communist China went nuts, calling the meeting a "blatant interference in China's internal affairs."
President Bush hosted Tibet's exiled leader the week before, and similar hysterics came from Zhongnanhai (Toronto Star).
Now, yours truly has been quite critical of this Administration's weakness on Communist China, but I must give credit where it's due - President Bush did the right thing.
As for Mr. Harper, his government has earned far more praise in this area, but we shouldn't take that for granted, especially given the fact that he has a minority government and the opposition party has a terrible history.
Both men deserve high praise for standing with the Dalai Lama.