Resetting Canada-China relations

Canada should take steps to build a sustainable trading relationship with China, predicated on advancing the well-being of Canadians

Resetting Canada-China relationsWhat's a self-respecting Canadian prime minister to do with China, a vital partner that's dominating world trade and becoming dangerously belligerent? We will find out soon. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has arrived in China in preparation for the G20 summit in Hangzhou, where he will meet with other world leaders and business elites. China's rise to superpower status…

Turmoil in the South China Sea

China’s ambitions in the South China Sea will have far-reaching international implications well into the future

Turmoil in the South China SeaThe Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague has unanimously ruled that China does not have any historic title to a huge expanse of the South China Sea, which it had claimed. The July 12 decision came in response to a case filed by the Philippines in 2013, under the United Nations Convention on the…

The case for human rights in China

Disdain for human rights has institutionalized inequality in the Chinese workplace, with negative consequences for western workers

The case for human rights in ChinaNothing illustrates the vast differences between China and the West like the thorny issue of human rights. Protecting and advancing basic human rights is central to western civilization. In China, individual rights are sacrificed to the imperatives of the state. Canadians were reminded of this sharp divide a few weeks ago when Chinese Foreign Minister Wang…

The NDP takes a dangerous Leap to the left

The romance of the Leap Manifesto fails in the face of reality: hard-line socialism defies democracy

The NDP takes a dangerous Leap to the leftAlberta Premier Rachael Notley was “disappointed” when the recent federal NDP convention in Edmonton adopted the Leap Manifesto as a guide to party policy. She should not be alone. The Leap’s anti-hydrocarbon agenda was adopted despite being branded by Notley’s environment minister as a betrayal of the people who voted for the party in Alberta.…

When Khrushchev spilled the beans

60 years this month Nikita Khrushchev blew the whistle on (the safely deceased) Josef Stalin’s crimes

When Khrushchev spilled the beansIt’ll be 60 years this month since Nikita Khrushchev blew the whistle on (the safely deceased) Josef Stalin’s crimes. And while the revelations were no surprise to savvy observers, it was a punch in the gut for many true believers and fellow travellers, particularly in the West. What they’d fondly imagined as a Marxist utopia…

China’s credit rating system measures citizens’ behaviour

Your “credit” score declines if you criticize the government online

China’s credit rating system measures citizens’ behaviourOrwellian may be the most misused adjective in the language. Just about anything qualifies, from security cameras to law-and-order legislation to the bonus scheme for the Pan Am Games (really, see Letters to the Editor, Toronto Star). But nothing has come close to George Orwell’s dystopian technologically-based totalitarianism – until now. The Communist Party of…

Robert Conquest, the man who was right

Apologists for the Soviet Union and Stalin in particular, according to Conquest, suffered a form of “mental aberration”

Robert Conquest, the man who was rightRobert Conquest, who died on August 3 at the age of 98, was an interesting guy. He was also a man ahead of his time, someone who was prepared to row against the current when necessary. With books like The Great Terror (1968) and Harvest of Sorrow (1986), he told the truth about Stalinism, and…

The world was safer in the Soviet era

Today, principled conversation is impossible, and that’s dangerous

The world was safer in the Soviet eraRecent threats on the world stage cause me to wonder whether perhaps we should be mourning the passing of the Soviet era. With the eruption of ISIS in the Middle East and the ongoing autocracies in Russia and China, pause for a moment and think back to the last century and compare the challenges then…

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank a study in oppression

The Harper government takes a principled stand against China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank a study in oppression‘Aunt’ Mai, my elderly neighbour, is a smallish (4’, 10”) wonderful Chinese woman who lives a quiet life in Edmonton caring for her sister and tending to her vegetable garden. She and her family escaped to Canada at a time when China’s communists were brutalizing her homeland. During the Cultural Revolution (1966 to 76), her…

“Capitalism” saved the world

Any attempt to equate capitalism and communism is wrong-headed

“Capitalism” saved the worldIn a recent column from a Toronto journalist on communism and capitalism, the writer made an astonishing claim: While “millions have been the tragic victims of communism,” Roy MacGregor wrote, “that number pales, surely, in comparison with the victims of capitalism.” Surely, it does not. The columnist attempted to link communism and capitalism as mere…