LILLEY: Trudeau bows to Beijing, Ottawa blocks Taiwan leader’s award

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The Trudeau government is being blasted for kowtowing to Beijing’s dictators once again, and I have to say, those doing the blasting are right.

This time the furor was triggered over the pressuring of a prestigious Canadian institution to not give an award to Taiwan’s president for fear of upsetting China’s government.

According to a story in Politico, with sources in both Ottawa and Washington, the Trudeau government threatened to pull funding and other supports from the prestigious Halifax International Security Forum if they gave an award to Tsai Ing-wen, the president of Taiwan.

Citing multiple sources, Politico said the fourm, one of the most prestigious in the world, was set to award the John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service to Tsai when the Trudeau government made the threat.

“Absolutely pathetic — Canadian government is a bunch of cowards condoning Chinese genocide,” said Meghan McCain, daughter of the late U.S. senator for whom the award is named after.


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“It’s disappointing but not surprising to see the extent to which the Trudeau government will go to secretly support the Communist Party of China,” Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said of the news.

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“A national disgrace,” said David Mulroney, Canada’s former ambassador to China. “Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy has no room for one of the most courageous, principled, and seriously threatened women on the planet.”

Mulroney added that Canada’s support for the One China policy does not preclude independent organizations from granting honours like this to Tsai.

This is not merely partisan chirping at the Trudeau Liberal government, there is a real concern about Canada’s subservient, deferential, fawning posture towards China.

The Trudeau government has a strange view of the Canada-China relationship — one that doesn’t appear to be based in reality.

“We don’t consider China as an adversary,” Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said in late November 2019 at that year’s edition of the Halifax Forum.

That was almost a full year after Canadian businessmen Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were kidnapped by the Chinese government.

But it could have been said at any time since the Liberals came to power. Despite years of increasingly aggressive moves towards the rest of the world, the Trudeau government continues to act as if it is 20 years ago and China is asking the West to help it open up.

Those days are gone, and they aren’t coming back.


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We’ve had years of trade wars, human rights abuses, the attempt to extinguish democracy in Hong Kong that has changed the view in other capitals. But the Trudeau government continues to turn a blind eye.

This is not about securing the release of Kovrig and Spavor, this is about a world view that places China at the centre.

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None of this is in Canada’s best interests as commentators left and right will attest, but Trudeau is steadfast in never upsetting the dictators in Beijing.

“Kowtowing to Beijing is a core element of the Trudeau government’s foreign policy. Has been from the beginning. The Mikes’ abduction and kidnapping is just the most recent pretext,” National Post columnist and self-described man of the left Terry Glavin tweeted Sunday.


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Honouring a leader like Tawain’s Tsai — a woman who has steered her country through one of the most successful responses to COVID-19 and deals with China’s aggressive military action without escalating the situation — should not be controversial. It should not be partisan; it should be unifying for Canadians.

Unless those Canadians are in the Trudeau government where the mainline of thinking seems to be, don’t upset the real bosses in Beijing.


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