By Kate Heartfield: It's not as if we agree with China on everything except Google searches and the death penalty. The way the Chinese regime understands global security is fundamentally different from the vision Harper sketched in that Maclean's interview. Given China's immense power, that matters. Even if China's inability to share our values never makes it a threat to us, the countries China supports do and will become threats.
And what does Baird do in China? Well, he mouths a lot of Chrétienera pap about Canada's "strategic partnership" with China and our "common interests." There was the usual assurance that human rights were discussed, but no signs China was willing to meet Canada partway on anything.
Standing up for our values doesn't mean we can't have a respectful diplomatic relationship with China. But surely any Canadian minister has a responsibility not to whitewash the actions of the Chinese regime or show disrespect to the brave Chinese citizens who are standing up for freedom and paying the price - right now.
The success of Canada's relationship with China should never come down to whether we managed to avoid saying anything controversial. I remind the prime minister: It's not good enough to say "everybody likes us." That's not a sufficient way to protect our interests.
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