As I remarked when I interviewed Australian student Drew Pavlou recently, how institutions and nations respond to China is often an acid test of principle.
Leaders who bang on endlessly about climate change happily sign an agreement that allows far and away the world’s largest CO2 emitter to keep right on increasing its emissions. Governments which boast about their human rights record back a nation which executes people to harvest their organs and is pursuing a vigorous genocide against its own minorities. Academics who protest about academic freedom allow a brutal, totalitarian state to dictate what they teach.
And leaders who witter about “kindness” choose to appease a communist dictatorship.
The Conservative party’s outgoing leader, Andrew Scheer, said on Tuesday that the Trudeau government has been following a “policy of appeasement” regarding China.
Trudeau’s not alone, of course. In Australia, too, political leaders like Victoria’s Daniel Andrews bend over to take China’s Belt and Road right up their Initiative. Businessmen like Twiggy Forrest undermine their own government in pursuit of that sweet, sweet Renminbi.
Beyond Justin Trudeau’s refusal to call out China for its role in the COVID-19 pandemic, there are countless examples from his cabinet ministers.
Trudeau’s foreign minister recently had trouble saying the word “Taiwan” when asked if he would thank the democratic nation for their donation of medical gear to Canada.
Francois-Phillipe Champagne actually refused to let the word “Taiwan” cross his lips despite being asked several times. He’s also refused to upbraid China’s ambassador to Canada for denouncing the actions of a Commons committee looking into COVID-19.
There was a time that Trudeau’s health minister told a reporter he was pushing conspiracy theories by asking about reports focusing on when China became aware of the coronavirus.
The reporter was, as it happens, referring to what we know for a fact is absolutely true: China knew about the pandemic and lied about it.
We have kowtowed to the wishes of the leaders in Beijing. When Australia, whose biggest trading partner is China, demanded an independent review of the COVID-19 outbreak, Beijing got angry[…]
Australia was able to rope in support from the European Union — and eventually 62 other countries — to support a motion for an independent review. Canada joined at the last minute as allies of China, and eventually China itself, agreed.
We weren’t the ones taking a stand[…]
The moves have not gone unnoticed by more traditional allies, some of whom are working together to remove global supply chains, especially for things like protective equipment from China.
That initiative, called the Economic Prosperity Network, includes Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand, the United States and Vietnam but Canada was not invited.
Seems countries that we used to stand with have noticed that under Trudeau, the Canadian government would prefer to stand with China.
Indeed, as recent report has found, Australia has allowed itself – under a succession of governments – to become far too dependent on China. The Xi Plague has laid bare the absolute folly of letting this happen.
Governments are indeed working to build a new global supply chain, free of China. For the moment, New Zealand is in – but the Ardern government will need to tread carefully. Note that Britain is not included in the list above? For the moment, Britain is still in the Five Eyes security alliance, but its decision to allow Chinese company Huawei to participate in building its 5G network has put that on shaky ground.
If the Ardern government likewise doesn’t reverse (again) its policy on Huawei and 5G, it might find New Zealand’s participation in other important China-containing initiatives under question.
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