Sat, Sep 08, 2018 - Page 8 News List

Not all of the Chinas are benign

By Lubomyr Luciuk

While Taiwanese hope the ambiguity of today’s “status quo” will prevail, they all know Beijing is striving to undermine their independence.

Why? Because Taiwan represents what a China freed from one-party rule can be: an open, commercially successful, technologically sophisticated country with much to offer, enriching humankind as Chinese civilization has done for many centuries.

However, for “mainland China” to follow the Taiwanese path would require ending the CCP’s dictatorship and its more than 83 million members are not likely to oblige. Democratization would scupper their privileges, expose their corruption and require an accounting for the vile crimes, historical and contemporary, perpetrated by and in the name of the party.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) at the 13th National People’s Congress on March 11 amended the country’s constitution, enthroning himself for life, copycatting Russian President Vladimir Putin, the KGB man in the Kremlin.

Unaccountably, Karl Marx never predicted the current dictatorships of “Communist” emperors as a stage in history.

What should Canada do? Beijing is certainly not the only odious regime the country deals with, but do commercial engagements require the abandonment of democratic Taiwan?

An answer exists in the Oct. 13, 1970, joint communique establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries.

In part it reads: “The Chinese Government reaffirms that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China. The Canadian Government takes note of this position of the Chinese Government.”

Read that again. All Canada’s diplomats did was “take note” of Beijing’s contention that Taiwan is a part of its territory. They did not agree it was, not then, nor since. Canada is quite free to engage with Taiwan however it wishes.

Be they liberals, conservatives, or new democrats, Canadian politicians often speak of promoting “Canadian values” — supporting democracy, the rule of law, civil liberties and human rights.

Yet they face powers and principalities deploying considerable geopolitical and geoeconomic leverage, all orchestrated to gutter the liberal-democratic principles so fundamental to the survival of Western civilization.

What is to be done? Rather than kowtow to Mammon’s present-day minions, I would say Canada must stand with those who share its values. Taiwan does.

Lubomyr Luciuk is a professor at the Royal Military College of Canada. Although he traveled as a guest of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the opinions expressed here are his own.

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