Hong Kong protests against China’s authoritarianism
Protests in Hong Kong have entered their 12th week as people have taken to the streets to demand their legislators quash an extradition law proposed by China.
While the law remains in limbo, demonstrations have taken on a wider push for more democratic reform in the city statelet but China appears set to push back and has begun massing troops at the Hong Kong’s mainland border with Shenzhen province. But what exactly is going on?
Richard Lee, a veteran Liberal MLA from British Columbia, has spoken out about the Chinese government, saying that they detained him, and that they are actively interfering in Canadian democracy, according to Global News.
Lee stated that upon arriving in Shanghai airport in 2015, the Chinese police improperly detained him, separated him from his family, stole and searched his B.C government phone before forcing him to go back to Canada.
Since this incident, Lee said that China’s interference in Canadian democracy has only gotten worse. They are, according to Lee, attempting to control Chinese-Canadian politicians and immigrants, so to protect Beijing from foreign dissent.
Richard Lee was the Liberal MLA for the riding of Burnaby between 2001 and 2017. Lee sent a letter to both Trudeau and Freeland, detailing his detention and subsequent allegations. Lee did not hear back from the Liberal government for a year.
At the time, however, Lee chose not to alert the public to the Chinese government’s actions due to his fear that it would damage an already frayed relationship between the two countries.
Lee cited consular warnings that stop Canadian politicians from speaking out against China, as well as the continued detention of Canadian citizens, as evidence that China is undermining Canada’s sovereignty.
Following U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order that restricted the influx of immigrants and refugees from some Muslim-majority countries, Justin Trudeau tweeted the following:
“To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada”
Trump’s policy was slammed by many as a “Muslim-ban,” mostly based upon statements he had made during the election campaign calling for a ban.
However, the policy itself ended up still allowing immigration and refugee settlement from the majority of the world’s Muslim-majority nations, and also included bans on countries like Venezuela and North Korea.
Of course, Justin Trudeau still didn’t miss his virtue-signalling moment, and his resulting tweet led to a large influx of illegal border crossers to Canada.
At the time, some might have claimed that it was just an emotional reaction by Trudeau, that he was legitimately upset by Trump’s remarks and the restrictive policy on immigration from certain countries into the U.S.
Yet, let’s just consider the contrast in Trudeau’s response to a policy passed by the United States (our close ally and a nation where the rule of law prevails), and Trudeau’s response to China’s actual Muslim concentration camps.
As revealed by the China Cables, there is now no way to deny that China is engaging in the mass oppression of Muslim people in Xinjiang province:
“The China Cables, obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, include a classified list of guidelines, personally approved by the region’s top security chief, that effectively serves as a manual for operating the camps now holding hundreds of thousands of Muslim Uighurs and other minorities. The leak also features previously undisclosed intelligence briefings that reveal, in the government’s own words, how Chinese police are guided by a massive data collection and analysis system that uses artificial intelligence to select entire categories of Xinjiang residents for detention.”
So, China is holding innocent Canadian Citizens hostage, has repeatedly threatened Canada, is oppressing the freedom-loving people of Hong Kong, and is now arbitrarily arresting innocent Muslims, taking them away from their families, abusing them, indoctrinating them, and committing crimes on a horrendous scale.
Where’s Trudeau’s tweet about all this?
Where’s his tear-filled press conference?
Where’s the strong action by the Canadian government to distance ourselves from China, ban Huawei, and stop infiltration by the Communist State into the politics of our nation?
Instead, Trudeau and much of Canada’s pathetic political class are silent.
It’s gutless and hypocritical, and it makes Trudeau’s tweet following Trump’s so-called ‘Muslim ban’ seem like a complete joke.
China is in the midst of a real Muslim ban, punishing millions of people and trying to eradicate their faith.
If Trudeau and the Canadian elites aren’t willing to decouple our nation from China even under these circumstances, then our values and our national strength may already be gone.
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters have asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to show some “guts” with holding China to account, according to the National Post.
The chair of the Hong Kong Democratic Party’s foreign affairs committee, Emily Lau, was critical of Trudeau’s timidness with China during the weekend’s Halifax Security Forum.
Speaking to the audience, Lau asked, “Is it because if you do it, you will make less money? You will make enemies? So your country, your companies, will get less rich?”
There was a stark difference between Lau’s comments and Justin Trudeau’s defence minister, Harjit Singh Sajjan, who insisted during the conference that China was not an adversary, but instead an economic ally.
Since the democracy protests erupted in the spring of this year, Canada has done little to condemn the violence, usually initiated by the Chinese government or the police force. In August, the Canadian government released a statement urging that the violence stopped.
Canada and China’s relationship fractured after Huawei CEO, Meng Wanzhou, was arrestested in Vancouver airport. In response to this, the Chiense government detained two Canadian citizens.
Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan believes China is not an adversary to Canada, despite rising and consistent tensions between the two countries.
While addressing a crowd at the Halifax International Security Forum in Halifax, Sajjan noted that the detention of two Canadian citizens in China was unwarranted, but that the relationship with China is still needed for co-operation on trade, according to AP.
Tensions initially rose late last year and in early 2019 upon the arrest of Huawei CFO and Chinese tech-royalty Meng Wanzhou, who has been out on bail at her Vancouver-area home since her arrest last December on an extradition request from the United States.
Following the arrest, China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor to pressure Canada to release Wanzhou.
In January 2019, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, a Canadian national, was sentenced to death after an unwarranted retrial. The sentence was considered a massive strike to relations between Canada and China.
Another Canadian citizen was given the death sentence in April of 2019 for similar charges. Fan Wei, along with 11 other men, were all given criminal charges, though Wei was the only one given the death penalty.