Well good for Stephen Harper for bringing up human rights with the President of China. While the brief meeting sounds like it might've taken place as the two were standing next to each other in the line-up at the APEC conference buffet table, it seems the Chinese are none too pleased with the new style of diplomacy from the Canadians. After 13 years of sycophantic Liberal Prime Ministers prioritizing trade with China way above demanding action to improve human rights there's finally a government in Ottawa which is serious about highlighting China's brutal record with its own people.
Last year I reflected on the ongoing custom of Liberal Prime Ministers going through the old song and dance of making the same old feeble demands for human rights as trade grows exponentially between the two countries:
It's kind of refreshing to know, much to the dismay of the travelling Canadian media, that no cheesy photo-ops between Harper and Hu ever materialized. Canada and China are officially at odds with each other over a noble cause: human rights.
Still, many are berating Harper for threating to damage valuable trade links, and having the gall to criticize other countries for poor human rights when (yeah, you've heard it before) we Canadians have our own embarassing record of mistreating our aboriginal people.
Well I suppose Stephen Harper will get criticized for whatever he does. Knowing China has imprisoned Husyin Celil, a Chinese-Canadian citizen, on terrorism charges, and won't acknowledge his Canadian citizenship, Harper would be stupid not to bring up human rights with China.
Posted at 11:22 pm by Graeme_MacKay