Saturday, June 17, 2017

Perjuring Themselves

"I have not heard it mentioned yet ... On the Chinese side, I have not heard a comment. [Canada is] always open to foreign investment."
"[Business deals are assessed on a] case-by-case [basis and] security advice was followed."
"The stars are aligned in such a way that both sides want to make progress There are issues involving human rights and that kind of issue on which we [Canada and China] don't agree."
"I think there is strong appetite in China for Canadian wood. We want this trade deal [Canada-China free trade agreement] to reflect our own values and priorities." 
"It's not clear at this point whether the Chinese side is on side with all those things [labour and gender and environment]. They have not always been the most open on that to Canada and to other foreign countries, so that's one of the issues we want to put on the table."
Ambassador John McCallum, Canadian Embassy, Beijing, China

"Every single transaction [is reviewed by national security agencies and] we follow their advice."
Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, Ottawa

"[The deal] raises significant national security concerns for the United States as the company is a supplier to our military."
U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission
Canadian satellite technology firm Norsat counts the U.S. Department of Defense among its customers. Credit: Cpl. James Hoke/U.S. Marine Corps
Space News : Canadian satellite technology firm Nosat counts the U.S. Department of Defense among its customers. Credit Cpl. James Hoke/U.S.Marine Corps

The issue is Canada's trade and investment relations with the People's Republic of China. The previous Conservative administration under Prime Minister Stephen Harper was decidedly cool to engaging too closely too frequently with China, citing its human rights record and that countries like Canada should be more concerned with doing business with regimes lacking China's abysmal record rather than giving priority to the 'almighty buck'.

The current, Liberal administration of the government of Canada has taken a different tack under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who once mused about his admiration for the 'basic dictatorship' that China represents to him, and its ability to turn its economy 'on a dime'. This Prime Minister unabashedly made himself and his cabinet personally available at a substantial price to Chinese entrepreneurs before a public reaction made the events somewhat less palpably feasible.

The Chinese market is an enormous one, hard to ignore, difficult for any country not to envision dancing dollars and appreciable profits resulting from doing business with the massive state. In deciding to forge ahead and press for advantages in entering that vast Chinese marketplace the issues of politics such as Communism versus Democracy are placed on an out-of-consciousness-reach shelf, however temporarily.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper proceeded with caution on the issue. Current Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is clearly bedazzled by the prospect of enlarging the bottom line. Where, for example, the previous government would never countenance such an agreement, the current one is prepared to sign an extradition agreement with China, despite its human rights record, a country whose judiciary is not independent of the ruling party, where forced confessions and torture are in use.

The most recent issue is the proposed sale of Norsat International based in Vancouver to Hytera Communications, a large technology company known to be an instrument of the Chinese state. While Norsat is "a world leader in portable satellite communications" whose clients include the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, and NATO as well. That these links do not immediately screech "security issues in peril" to the government of Canada belies belief.

Norsat International Inc. of Vancouver is the subject of competing bids from China and the United States.
Norsat International Inc. of Vancouver is the subject of competing bids from China and the United States. (Norsat International)

But the takeover, despite implications for global security had been approved and a routine security screening done not appear to have been considered a necessity, reflective of a formal security review by defence and security experts. A situation which two former directors of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service have questioned, making it clear that they would have recommended a security review.

Interestingly enough, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, after approving the deal, informed Parliament that the prospective takeover had been the subject of a full security review, and the prime minister claimed that each foreign takeover is subject to identical secure scrutiny. Unfortunately neither statement by these honourable gentlemen happen to be fact, as in inaccurate and untrue.

Labels: , , , ,

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Follow @rheytah Tweet