Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Strange Relations with China

Hopefully PM-designate Justin Trudeau has more skill in dealing with China
After a sojourn to North America, it's time to focus back on Asia, though we are thrilled to see Canadians vote for change in installing Justin Trudeau as the next Prime Minister.

The result of 184 seats to lead a majority government was not expected out of Trudeau early in the campaign, who was thought to be the political lightweight.

But he proved his adversaries wrong, and also public sentiment built up to the point of saying, "enough is enough! Time for change!"

While it will take some time for the 43-year-old charismatic Liberal leader to undo the damage Harper has done in the past almost decade, we hope Trudeau has the wisdom to be pragmatic and nuanced in his dealings with China.

Harper on his first visit to China in 2009 with Wen Jiabao
Harper learned the hard way and paid dearly for it. It was so embarrassing to watch then Premier Wen Jiabao tear a strip off of Harper in 2009 before allowing Canada to have the Approved Destination Status so that more mainlanders could come visit the country as individual tourists.

So while Harper did the grovelling, we hope Trudeau doesn't have to do that and can return Sino-Canadian relations back to a decent, amicable level where the Chinese still rave about Norman Bethune.

At the moment, the UK is bending over backwards in inviting Chinese President Xi Jinping on his first state visit there. Even the Queen has opened the gates at Buckingham Palace to welcome him and wife Peng Liyuan to stay with Her Majesty.

Xi Jinping meeting the Queen and staying in her digs
Have the corgis been locked up to avoid being Xi's supper???

Jokes aside, it's quite astounding how much Prime Minister David Cameron is going all out to ensure Xi and Peng have the royal treatment -- which is ironic considering the Chinese got rid of the imperialist dynasties in 1911.

Does Cameron think that by giving his guests the ultimate kowtow that China is going to open its doors wide open to the UK and let it plunder it again, this time economically?

Does Queen Victoria have to leave the park?
What's also ironic is that at the same time Xi is being hosted by the monarchy, the Chinese are deploring that Hong Kong has too many vestiges of British colonialism and now want them covered up or taken down.

Hong Kong Post is frantically going to cover up the last mail boxes that have the royal insignias on them, but does that also mean getting rid of the statue of Queen Victoria in Victoria Park, and renaming the area, the People's Park, like every other mainland city has?

Does that also mean changing the names of all the British-named streets we have too? Talk about confusion!

For the Chinese trying to get rid of Hong Kong's last bits of colonialism is like whitewashing the city's history. This is a part of who we are -- this is where Hong Kong gets its values, like freedom of speech, freedom of the press, rule of law.

Again, I'm repeating a broken record refrain, but this indicates yet again that the Chinese do not understand Hong Kong and its identity, and how its unique history can be its advantage.

Instead it seems, the Chinese would rather force Hong Kong to bend to its will, while enjoying the scones and afternoon tea with the Queen...

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