2017-12-04 15:45:19 UTC
with them. It is very difficult to set up a business in China because of
the corruption. The best we can do is to out source work to companies in
China to produce the goods for Canadian manufacturers. That is why there
is a huge trade imbalance. They need our food products to feed such a
large population but they are using this as a negotiating tactic. That
is taking the Canadian government for fools.
Also, a very familiar problem has risen up with the detention of
Canadians by the Chinese government. This was the problem that they
faced with Omar Khadr. If the Supreme Court heard Khadr's case they
would have ruled in Khadr's favor. The Supreme Court would have to rule
that the rights of Canadians are priority over foreign trade deals. It
is the duty of the Canadian government to protect the rights of
Canadians under the constitution while trade deals are not protected.
That means that trade deals with countries that are holding Canadians in
their jails, especially third world countries and dictatorships, cannot
torture them and they must provide them with a speedy and fair trial.
Without the Supreme Court ruling we will be hearing more cases where the
federal government ignores the plight of Canadians in a foreign prison
in favor of a trade deal.
That is an apology for future governments.
Canadians detained in commercial dispute looming over Trudeau trip to
Trade minister won't say whether Chang case will stall Canada's decision
to enter free trade talks
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may want to focus on trade, tourism, and
business opportunities during his trip to China, but there is a pressing
problem threatening to knock him off his positive message.
He is facing growing pressure to resist entering free trade talks with
China until a commercial dispute involving detained Canadians is
John Chang and his wife, Allison Lu, who own wineries in B.C. and
Ontario, have been trapped in a diplomatic nightmare since they were
arrested during a work trip to Shanghai in March of 2016.
The pair have been accused by Chinese authorities of smuggling after
allegedly under-reporting the value of wine they export to Asia.
Lu has been released from custody but is not allowed to leave Shanghai,
while her husband remains in a detention facility.
The couple's daughter, Amy Chang, said this is not a criminal matter and
is demanding Trudeau hold off on free trade talks until her parents are
sent back to Canada.
B.C. winery owners facing life in Chinese prison for alleged
Trade, human rights on the agenda for Prime Minister Justin
Trudeau's China visit
"When you're trying to negotiate a free trade agreement, especially
between Canada and China, if you cannot protect your own citizens right
now... there are more cases that are just going to come up," Chang said
in an interview with CBC News.
The 24-year-old said the matter is urgent, since her father's health is
declining. She said her father has two tumours on his liver.
"Justin Trudeau, I really hope this time when you go to China, I really
hope you can bring my parents home for Christmas," Chang added.
Case raised at highest levels
Government officials would not confirm whether Trudeau plans to bring
the Chang case up during high-level meetings with Chinese President Xi
Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.
But International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne told CBC
Radio's The House that Canadian officials raise the case "all the time."
"I made sure this was understood by our Chinese counterparts that this
is something that not only matters to me, but to the highest level of
the Canadian government. I will continue to press for that," Champagne
While he would not say if the Chang and Lu case is a deal-breaker for
entering free trade talks, Champagne said Canada is committed to finding
"I would say, what Canadians expect of us is to raise consular cases
wherever they occur," Champagne told The House.
Carleton University professor Stephanie Carvin sees the dispute as a red
flag for Canadian officials.
"It is emblematic of the kinds of techniques that China might use in
order to retaliate against a ... decision that it didn't like," Carvin
said in an interview with CBC News.
In June 2017, before the case went into a closed-door trial, China's
ambassador to Canada told CTV News that the case shouldn't be
"politicized" and should be allowed to unfold in court.
Kevin Garratt thanks both Harper and Trudeau teams for his return to
Last year, shortly after Trudeau's first prime ministerial trip to
China, authorities there released another Canadian who had been held for
Kevin Garratt had been arrested in 2014 on suspicion of stealing state
secrets and spying.
Garratt and his family adamantly denied any wrongdoing, and both the
previous Conservative government and the Liberal government advocated on
Garratt's behalf at the highest levels.
Push to ramp up trade talks
Despite these concerns, Ottawa is being pressured to deepen ties with
Beijing, and quickly.
Canada's former ambassador to China, Guy Saint-Jacques, said conditions
are "ripe" to negotiate a trade deal, and predicts the complicated talks
could be completed in three years.
"If we don't go ahead, I think that China will feel, again, that we have
left them at the altar, waiting," Saint-Jacques said in an interview
Government sources tell CBC News that during the four rounds of
exploratory trade talks, Chinese officials made it abundantly clear they
want a free trade agreement with Canada.
Deal or no deal? Justin Trudeau heads to China with free trade
decision up in the air
Trudeau can always play Trump card on visit to China: Chris Hall
The sources said the Chinese are eager to access Canadian natural
resources, clean technologies, agriculture and e-commerce systems.
Canadian business leaders have called for talks to take place, in the
hopes of one day selling goods and services to China's growing middle
class of about 600 million people.
"They will turn to others... we are not the only game in town," Saint-
Former Quebec premier Jean Charest agreed, saying Canada should
"aggressively" pursue an agreement.
Charest helped the former Conservative government launch free trade
talks with Europe, and has extensive business dealings in China.
"No one gets up in the morning and asks themselves 'why don't I do a
deal with Canada today?' It doesn't happen that way. We are the ones
that have to go out there and hustle for it," Charest said in an
"We are 36 million people with a high standard of living. If we don't
trade, we are not going to be able to maintain the lifestyle we have
here," he said.