Jan 07 2008

WorldView: China cares more about economics than the Dalai Lama. Surprise, surprise

Published by at 11:32 pm under Uncategorized

China will keep buying our raw materials and selling us back manufactured goods. Well, of course. Why would they want to disrupt a perfectly good system that has generated a China-Canada trade deficit in their favor of about $25 billion? The latest analysis by our trade minister says a recent visit by the Dalai Lama to the PMO isn’t even a blip on China’s radar screens – despite China’s proven willingness to use the Dalai Lama issue as a club to win concessions.

Canada could have a Vancouver-style permanent Falun Gong protest in every Canadian city from Moncton to Moose Jaw and run Chinese political prisoner organ-harvesting documentaries every Sunday on the CBC. It wouldn’t make a difference. China has learned to play the economic globalization game extremely well. Frankly, Canadian economic and foreign policy wonks could learn a lot from China’s ferociously pragmatic approach to looking after its own interests abroad.

Enjoy your thirty cents off your screwdrivers, Canadian Tire shoppers.

UPDATE: Evidently, trade minister David Emerson has already learned quite a bit already from China’s approach. Emerson: “There are other ways of dealing with the various issues on human rights and other connected issues without sullying the virtues of Olympic events and competitions.” Well, of course. Why would one want to put any bad behavior in the spotlight when the whole world is watching?

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