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Terry Glavin: Of course, Trudeau refused to say “genocide”. He has no credibility on China




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In the continued free fall of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s credibility in the affair of his government’s opaque relations with Xi Jinpings China, there is a discernible pattern, a sort of scenario playing out that has so far protected Trudeau and his entourage. irreparably damaged by the overwhelming disgust and revulsion of the public.

That pantomime has worked so successfully and for such a long time is as disturbing as it is remarkable, but finally the jig is in place. The last drop will be remembered as Trudeau’s ambiguities and cover-ups about the savage oppression of the Xi regimes against the Muslim peoples of Xinjiang, which Trudeau invited us all to question this week as a discursive problematization of the word genocide.

The subject only arose out of growing public alarm over the official indifference of the Trudeau government to the prospect of Canadian athletes carrying Canadian flags at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, now that the genocide in Xinjiang is conclusively proven among the many crimes that have solidified the reputation of the Chinese Communist Party as the world’s most enthusiastic abuser of basic human rights standards.


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We are extremely concerned about this and have emphasized our concerns on several occasions. But when it comes to the application of the very specific word genocide, we just need to make sure all the East’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed in the processes before such a decision is made, Trudeau told reporters on Tuesday. . It is an extremely loaded word and it is certainly something we should be looking at in the case of Uyghurs.

It was not immediately obvious which official agency or government department might be responsible for the calligraphy of the I and T dots that Trudeau would need in his new concern for legal precision with regard to the word genocide. International human rights scholar and former liberal justice minister Irwin Cotler, who did not suffer such qualms in identifying genocide as the crime the Xi regime is committing against Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang , suggested that Trudeau could seek advice by referring directly to the Supreme. Court of Canada.

But it seems unlikely that it would adequately serve Trudeau’s goal of dismissing a decision on Canada’s participation in the Olympics, and anyway, Ottawa outsourced the decision to the Canadian Olympic Committee, and the COC says everything is about diplomacy. , which is the responsibility of Ottawas. So things arise, with Trudeau stroking his chin, weakly supported by an increasingly weaker coterie of liberals encouraging us all to deconstruct and unbox the term genocide and pity the poor Canadian athletes who so desperately yearn to shine. at the Winter Games.


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And on the other side: more than 180 human rights organizations, the Biden administration, several groups of the Canadian Chinese diaspora, Tibetan exiles and Hong Kong solidarity activists, the Conservative Party, the New Democratic Party , the Green Party, most of the Bloc Québécois and several eminent Liberals, including several members, and the entire International Human Rights Subcommittee of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.

It is therefore taking the specter of genocide, a real genocide that fulfills several conditions set out in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide to threaten a break in the practice which has served the Trudeau government so well in the public management opinion on its relations with China. Usually this is how it works:

A wave of public disgust threatens to overwhelm Ottawas’ practice of accommodating Beijing and the interests of the deeply rooted Chinese lobby in Canada. Ottawa reacts with action, always of course in the national interest of Canada, in accordance with Canadian values, in consultation with Canada’s allies, etc.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS / Patrick Doyle ORG XMIT: PD116
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. Photo by PATRICK DOYLE /THE CANADIAN PRESS

Before anyone notices it was all smoke, cleverly crafted mirrors, and talking points, let’s move on to the next exercise in message management.

This week alone, for example, the Trudeau government put on a big show, two years in the making, as we approached the 800th day of the malicious and sadistic kidnapping and imprisonment in Beijing of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, which was clearly in retaliation. for the detention in Canada of billionaire Huawei and Communist Party sweetheart Meng Wanzhou on a US extradition warrant arising from 13 counts of fraud and sanction fraud.


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The new foreign minister, Marc Garneau, has announced a new international coalition against hostage diplomacy, just as Beijing has committed in the case of Kovrig and Spavor. Garneau compared the initiative to the 1997 Ottawa Landmine Treaty and the all-for-one clause in NATO’s constitution. But, strangely, China wasn’t even mentioned in Garneaus’ talking points, and the closer you look at the 58-nation declaration, the more it looks like a glorified petition that UN member states don’t. should not take hostages, and at best it could end up as an addendum to the 1979 United Nations Convention against the Taking of Hostages.

Then there was all the fuss over the past year over Canada’s actions in response to Beijing’s self-immolation and evisceration of the Hong Kong democratic movement. Ottawa boasted that Canada was the first to end its extradition treaty with Hong Kong as if there was a judge anywhere in Canada who would extradite a dissident Hong Kong citizen to face the draconian law on national security that Beijing has imposed there.

And last year’s announcement that Canada would accept Hong Kong’s refugee claims was a decision made not by Ottawa but by the Independent Immigration and Refugee Board. And the changes to immigration rules advertised as making it easier for Hong Kong people to flee to Canada actually contained no such thing. And the new rules purportedly aimed at banning the products of slave labor in Xinjiang contained no penalties for companies that traffic in slave goods. Regardless of whether the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service has repeatedly warned that China in general and Huawei in particular pose serious threats to Canada’s national security, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council continues to fund Huaweis’ research collaborations with Canadian universities.


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While Canada has enacted Magnitsky sanctions against perpetrators of human rights violations in Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, South Sudan, Nicaragua, Russia, Myanmar and Belarus, not a single Chinese official faces Canadian sanctions for any of the atrocious transgressions of international human rights covenants that the Xi regime embark on at such a breakneck pace, it’s nearly impossible to keep pace.

After public outrage over Beijing’s kidnapping of Kovrig and Spavor, Ottawa has pledged broad public consultations for a whole new framework for dealing with China. The promise has been reiterated more than once in the past year, even though nothing of the sort was in sight. This week, Garneau admitted that the old policy, however polite, could be tweaked. That’s all.

But it is difficult to polish the genocide, which the Xi regime is methodically and brutally carrying out in Xinjiang. Concentration camps. A gulag of slave factories. The erasure of old mosques and holy places. Forced sterilization. The criminalization of Islamic religious practices. The separation of children from their parents. The mass experience of ubiquitous and ubiquitous surveillance.

Giving up all of this in the hope that Canadians will not notice that their government is simply following this barbarism will no longer work.

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