Charles Burton, an associate professor of Political Science at Brock, wrote a piece recently published in Maclean’s about the present opportunity for a serious reconsideration of the trade relationship between Canada and China.
Besides skewering Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s China strategy, Beijing’s gruff recent refusal to factor labour, gender or environmental rights into free-trade talks was significant in other ways.
It likely marks Canada’s last gasp in a futile, decades-long effort to engage China in global institutions on Western terms.
In the early 1980s, after “Red China” abandoned its Maoist revolutionary agenda to pursue strength and prosperity through international trade, Canada began transferring hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to China’s post-Mao regime through the Canadian International Development Agency, the World Bank and other UN agencies.
Basically, China named a request and Canada signed a cheque.
We paid the cost of feasibility studies for the Three Gorges Dam, we sold China CANDU nuclear reactors on highly favourable terms, we funded projects to improve the quality of Chinese wheat and pork production.
Most importantly, we paid for Chinese scientists, engineers and technicians to come to Canada to acquire Canadian advanced technologies.
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