Sunday, April 12, 2009

That Was Then...

The Conservatives really are a predictable bunch. These days, it seems we just follow Washington's lead as Harper desperately trys to walk in lockstep with someone people actually LIKE. When Clinton travelled to China, I predicted that Harper would suddenly change course, visit the country by the end of the year. In recent days, word of a state visit are making the rounds and it looks like it will happen in a few months. It is clear, this government has miraculously "found" China and the new focus offers a striking contrast with past behavior.

Stockwell Day, just beaming in China today:
"We're talking about the whole relationship. We're talking about the fact that China's economy will continue to grow this year and the opportunities for Canadian companies, for Canadian workers, are significant. And we want to make sure that those doors are open "

The international trade minister also dismissed suggestions that Canada has lagged behind other nations in cultivating new trade ties with China.

"Our two-way trade has been increasing every year up to and including 2008," he said, adding, "It's amazing what's happening over here. It's not just that businesses that are growing, they're actually growing cities here. They are building cities by the millions of people. And that means that they have infrastructure needs."

Sounds like a few dollars are there to be made for Canadian companies. Day sounds like his Liberal predecessors, arguing one needs to look at the "whole relationship" when it comes to our China policy.

A far cry from this sentiment, offered by the sanctimonious Prime Minister after Chinese President Hu Jintao "snubbed" him:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says his government will not abandon "important Canadian values" by toning down criticisms of China's human rights record to improve trade relations with Beijing

"I think Canadians want us to promote our trade relations worldwide, and we do that, but I don't think Canadians want us to sell out important Canadian values," Harper said.

Chinese President Hu Jintao won't meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Hanoi, which is being seen by some as a snub over Canada's criticism of China's human rights record.

"They don't want us to sell that out to the almighty dollar."

I guess the almighty dollar won out, unless I missed some human rights overtures from China.

Since this government took office, it's China policy has been largely criticized. The Chinese relationship was so strained, the state media deliberately published anything about Canada that put us in a bad light, PARTICULARLY the Conservative government. What's changed? A kind of sad, consistent effort, on a host of issues, to mirror the Obama administration approach to everything. If you want to know about Canada's direction, try the Washington Post or follow the White House press releases- it's almost like a window into the future.


Brian A said...

I think it's amazing how far Harper will go to try to win over President Obama and the United States. He's portraying himself as more flakey on policy than he ever accused Paul Martin of being.

Steve V said...

"He's portraying himself as more flakey on policy than he ever accused Paul Martin of being."

Isn't that amazing, given the initial "mandate"?