Trudeau-appointed Senator: 'We want China to succeed'

"Canada should be able to articulate that we support China’s goal to become a fully developed economy by 2049," Woo declared.


The Facilitator of the Independent Senators Group, the largest, mostly Trudeau-appointed caucus in the Canadian Senate, argued that Canada should support China on their "journey to become a fully developed economy," according to Blacklock's Reporter.

The comments came from Senator Yuen Pau Woo, a Trudeau appointee. His comments were made before the Canada-China Friendship Society, an organization "dedicated to helping Canadians become better informed about China–its past, its current achievements and challenges, and what the future may hold."

The Canada-China Friendship Society also hosted the Chinese ambassador to Canada, Cong Peiwu, in September. On the "resources" section of their website, the group hosts a video of the Chinese ambassador to the United States appearing on CNN to deny the Chinese government's ongoing genocide of the minority Uyghur population. Their website also promotes the Chinese film "A First Farewell," which romanticizes the Uyghur's state-enforced adoption of Mandarin, a process which threatens the very existence of the Uyghur language.

"We should signal clearly to the Chinese leadership that we want China to succeed in its economic aspirations," argued Senator Woo. "This appears to me to be a difficult thing for Canada to say in the current context, but in a different world, in a different time this would have been what one would call a diplomatic no-brainer."

"Individual businesses in Canada have to make their own decisions about whether they want to do business in places that run against their values and their conscience, and I know many Canadian businesses refuse to do business in China," Woo told the organization. The Canadian government has been pushing for greater oversight of Canadian businesses operating in China in recent months due to growing concern of products on Canadian markets having been produced using Uyghur slave labour. Canadian companies such as Bombardier have been implicated in the use of slave labour in China.

Senator Woo promoted a more hands-off approach to China in his speech before the Friendship Society, arguing that Canada "should give up on the idea that it is part of Canada’s mission to change China." Woo further suggested that "we should be humbled about whether a different strategy would produce better results."

"Canada should be able to articulate that we support China’s goal to become a fully developed economy by 2049," Woo declared. "More than that, we should say we want to be part of China’s journey to become a fully developed economy and to share in the country’s success on the way there."

"For Canada as a whole, when it comes to big economies such as China or the United States, my view is we should have the kind of relationship with a big power that has so many points of connection that we do not let simply one problem in a connection affect all other parts of the relationship," Woo argued. Woo did not offer any sense of proportion to his statement and did not clarify whether genocide was a significant enough "problem" to warrant a sour relationship.

The relationship between China and Canada has remained tense since the arrest of Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver in 2018 at the request of the American government, which is pursuing Wanzhou on fraud charges. In response, the Chinese government arbitrarily detained two Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, often regarded simply as "the two Michaels." Senator Woo has previously called for the Canadian government to intervene in the extradition case on behalf of Wanzhou.


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