Should Canada Correct its Course on the Chinese Regime

Commentary, Culture Wars, Brian Giesbrecht

To its credit, Australia, together with strong leadership from the United States, is leading the charge to conduct an inquiry into the origin of the novel coronavirus that has killed hundreds of thousands and severely disrupted the lives of billions of the world’s people.

This is a true David and Goliath story. China’s 1.4 billion population dwarfs Australia’s 25 million, not to mention its economy. And China is pulling out all the stops to quash Australia’s brave attempt. From calling Australia “gum under China’s shoe” to threatening massive economic retaliation, the Chinese Communists are letting the upstart Australia know exactly what it thinks of their brash truth campaign.

And yet Australia and America are succeeding. Most of the world’s nations have now sided with Australia and are demanding answers from a Communist party that is used to getting its way. France, Germany, and most of the other Western countries are following Australia’s lead and letting the Asian giant know that they are refusing to be intimidated by threats of economic retaliation, or any of the other bully tactics that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) usually uses successfully on smaller nations. India is involved as well in the growing recognition that liberal democracies must stand together against an increasingly aggressive authoritarian bully.

These nations are to be commended. They are finally seeing the CCP for the dangerous totalitarian enemy of freedom that it has always been—and telling China it has had enough. They are leading the way.

But not Canada. It only reluctantly signed on to the initiative after all the other countries had led the way. Canada was at the tail end. The days when Canada was always among the first to stand with its democratic allies, such as America and Australia, for freedom and against tyranny is long past. Today, Canada cowers before communist China’s power.

What is going on here? It should be remembered that China still has two Canadian hostages that it snatched off the street and jailed—in a brazen act that can only be described as blackmail—in return for the lawful and appropriate Canadian detention of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou for possible extradition to the United States.

More immediately, it should be apparent to our Prime Minister that thousands of Canadian lives have been lost, and the entire life of the country completely disrupted, by a virus spawned somehow in China—the seriousness of which Beijing hid from the world for six crucial weeks. But instead of righteous anger from our leader, and instead of properly joining our allies in a demand for an inquiry into the origins of this horrific pandemic, Ottawa meekly repeats familiar talking points ad nauseum, and even often compliments the Chinese regime.

Back in 2013, when asked during an event which country he admired most, Canada’s Prime Minister shockingly expressed admiration for China’s “basic dictatorship” which is “allowing them to turn their economy around on a dime.”

Canada’s Health Minister just as famously accused a reporter on April 3 of “feeding into conspiracy theories” by even suggesting that the information provided by the CCP to the World Health Organization (WHO) and Canada was inaccurate. That information even then had been proven to be more than suspicious. The CCP had very deliberately suppressed the truth. The WHO aided and abetted that diabolical act and the Minister would not tolerate any questioning of that false narrative.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who owes his job to the CCP, failed to alert the world to the extreme danger of the coronavirus in a timely manner. As a result, what should have been a local event in Wuhan became the worst pandemic the world has seen in 100 years. But it was the CCP/WHO false version that Ottawa presented to Canadians as fact until the WHO finally came clean and admitted that the virus had become an uncontrolled viral pandemic. Tedros—correctly called “China’s puppet” by U.S. President Donald Trump—has refused to resign, as demanded by Australia and most of the world’s independent nations. The Prime Minister will not join in that demand, and Beijing has praised him for his support of a man who was incompetent at best, and at worst criminally negligent.

It should be understood that the WHO is a very important international organization that includes excellent medical experts and dedicated officials. However, it is now beyond argument that its leadership at the top level has been thoroughly corrupted by its slavish devotion to an amoral CCP. The WHO leadership disgraced itself spectacularly and tragically by toadying to the Party when it knew better. But it is still shocking that even when the WHO’s negligence had become well known, Ottawa was far too slow to recognize the fact that the WHO’s leadership was a tool for a CCP that hid the truth around the virus outbreak.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam was still assuring Canadians that they were not at risk long after close observers knew that this was false information. Taiwan knew better and tried to warn the WHO but was rebuffed for purely political reasons. (Canadian WHO representative Bruce Aylward was so anxious to please Beijing that he pretended he couldn’t hear a reporter’s question about whether the WHO should reconsider allowing Taiwan to be a member).

It is interesting that a Conservative Party candidate asked if Tam was more loyal to the CCP than Canada. For that, he was accused of being a “racist.” But the same question could be asked of the other Canadian officials who are not Chinese. In fact, if disputing the CCP narrative is somehow “anti-Chinese” and racist, then the people of Taiwan and the good people of Hong Kong would have to wear those “racist” labels too—and they are Chinese. The point here is that the CCP has been working for years to portray anyone who resists the regime as “racist” and “anti-Chinese.”

And how can Canada even consider allowing Huawei into its 5G, knowing what we now know about the sinister nature of the CCP? Canadians know that the regime currently has at least one million Uighur Muslims detained against their will in concentration camps. They know how ruthless and deadly the CCP campaign has been against peaceful Tibet. Canadians know that persecuted groups like Falun Gong have been imprisoned and even killed for their organs. They know that the older version of the CCP—the Party of Mao—was responsible for the deaths of at least 60 million of its own citizens. In short, there are no words that adequately describe the truly monstrous nature of the CCP. How can anyone continue to cozy up to such a regime?

Given the ruthless nature of the Chinese regime—something that has become starkly obvious over its handling of the virus outbreak alone—is this a prudent approach for our national broadcaster? Not to mention our government?

With many countries now taking a stronger stance on China, the time has come for the Liberals to abandon their submissive attitude and be part of that effort.

Brian Giesbrecht is a retired judge and a senior fellow with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.