Political Opponents Accuse Trudeau Of Getting Too Close To Beijing
Canada-China relations entered its “golden age” under Trudeau’s government. The move was lauded by all and sundry including Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang. China is the world’s second largest economy and it is quite commendable that the Liberal government is planting a seed for a friendlier relationship.
A series of symbolic announcements on commercial deals and the decision for Canada to join the Asian Infrastructural Investment Bank as well as exploratory free trade talks have set the stage for behind-the-scene work. As lucrative as all the efforts may sound, not everyone seems to be in tandem with Trudeau and his push for an extended Canada-China relations.
Spearheading the group of critics are Trudeau’s political opponents. They accused him of getting too close to Beijing. They are urging for caution in the ongoing trade and extradition deal. The critics are of the opinion that China has more to benefit from the deal than Canada.
A trade report of 2015 showed that Canada exported $20.2 billion in goods to China. The new promise is to double two-way trade by 2026. According to Trudeau’s critics, Meredith Lilly of Carleton University and former Harper adviser, the promise will further accentuate the already large trade imbalance with China.
China is demanding for more investment by state-owned enterprises and energy pipelines to the B. C. coast. Canada, on the other hand, is demanding for less. Canada wants fewer non-tariff barriers and arbitrary irritants including proposed restrictions on canola. More focus between the two sides, however, include climate change investment and improved people-to-people ties.
Trudeau and Li have agreed on a yearly dialogue while top federal bureaucrats are holding meetings with China – something that was not in practice in the past. Committees are being set up in Ottawa in that regards. According to Paul Evans of the University of British Columbia, if such committees have been in place prior to the Beijing and Shanghai meetings, the result would have been more substantial.
The details of the trade and extradition deal are not known but Trudeau has promised “extremely high” standards. According to Charles Burton of the Brock University, If Trudeau is unable to get Canadians on the side of the trade and extradition deals, China may accuse Canada of not fulfilling their side of the bargain. There is a high commitment by Canada and China to a dialogue on security and rule of law but this has been lacking in recent meetings.
For more updates on Canada-China relations, check out KonglongW.com.
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