And on the other side: more than 180 human rights organizations, the Biden administration, several Canadian Chinese diaspora groups, Tibetan exiles and Hongkonger solidarity activists, the Conservative Party, the New Democratic Party, the Green Party, most of the Bloc Québécois and several prominent Liberals, including several MPs, and the entirety of the International Human Rights Subcommittee of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.
So it’s taking the spectre of genocide – a real-world genocide that meets several conditions laid out in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide – to threaten a rupture in the practice that has served the Trudeau government so well in managing public opinion when it comes to its dealings with China. Ordinarily, this is how it works:
A wave of public disgust threatens to overwhelm the federal government’s practice of accommodating Beijing and the interests of Canada’s deeply embedded China lobby. The government responds by putting on a show of action, always of course in Canada’s national interest, in line with Canada’s values, in consultation with Canada’s allies and so on. Before anybody notices it’s all been smoke, mirrors and deftly crafted talking points, it’s on to the next exercise in message-management.
Just this week, for instance, the Trudeau government put on a great show, two years in the making, as we approached the 800th day of Beijing’s spiteful and sadistic abduction and imprisonment of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, which was clearly in retaliation for Canada’s detention of Huawei billionaire and Communist Party darling Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. extradition warrant arising from 13 counts of fraud and sanctions evasion.
While Canada has enacted Magnitsky sanctions against human rights abusers in Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, South Sudan, Nicaragua, Russia, Myanmar and Belarus, not a single Chinese official faces Canadian sanctions for any of the atrocious transgressions of international human rights covenants the Xi regime is committing at such a dizzying pace it’s almost impossible to keep up.
After the public outrage erupting from Beijing’s kidnapping of Kovrig and Spavor, the federal government promised extensive public consultations for an entirely new framework for dealing with China. The promise was reiterated more than once last year, even though nothing of the kind was in the offing. This week, Garneau conceded that the old “policy,” however it might be politely described, might be “fine-tuned.” That’s it.
Kicking all this down the road in the hope that Canadians won’t notice that their government is content to go along with this barbarism won’t work anymore.
The jig is up.
This content was originally published here.