D.卡尔顿 罗西
D. Carlton Rossi


                                    FIVE LIVES

There are currently five Canadians who are incarcerated in the People's Republic of China. Canadian negotiators have not been successful in getting them off and out of China. The author contends, generally speaking, that officials have placed a priority on achieving free trade rather than a release of prisoners. With regard to free trade there are a lot of secret discussions in camera with the Chinese; however, our government only pays public, lip service to issues regarding the release of Canadian prisoners. In other words, the emphasis is placed on free trade rather than free the prisoners. As has been mentioned earlier by the author one cannot do both at the same time. 

Canadian negotiators have made the mistake of allowing the Chinese to link free trade with an extradition treaty. The Chinese have no need or desire for free trade. They want an extradition treaty. The Chinese imply that if Canadians want free trade (which Trudeau in Singapore recently stated was a long term goal) then they need to sign an extradition treaty. Therefore, Canadian officials must state categorically that they are not interested in free trade, but rather sectoral trade. However, Canadians must also make it explicit that they are not interested in an extradition treaty with China until the cow jumps over the Moon. 

It is also incumbent on Canadian negotiators not to link free trade with human rights issues. They are two different things. The abysmal failure of Trudeau's push for progressive Liberal values (which incidentally reflect local politics) was a non-starter for the Chinese. The attempt to link free trade with the re-education camp issue in Xinjiang Province was another glaring error. The Chinese don't want free trade so why would they want to do anything about re-education camps for this reason. The Chinese simply said that they would like Canadian investment there--presumably in re-education camps or private jails. If Trudeau thinks there is a similarity between residential native schools in Canada and re-education camps in a Muslim province of China then he is manifestly mistaken. 


One of the FIVE LIVES is in a jail in Xinjiang Province. He is Uyghur-Canadian dissident Huseyin CELIL. His case was not addressed (as far as the author knows) in the letter with fifteen, ambassadorial signatures which was sent to their Chinese counterpart on the issue of re-education camps. There is a large difference between a camp and a Canadian residential school, but it is unclear what the difference is between a Chinese camp and a Chinese jail for a camp appears more like a jail. It is said by a Chinese representative that "During his [CELIL's] time in prison he took the initiative to speak. He educated more than 200,000 people by sharing his own experience". In other words, an inmate spoke to captive audiences--probably at camps and prisons. 

The Chinese want an extradition treaty for two purposes. The most important is so that Chinese accused of stealing intellectual property (secrets) in Canada from American subsidiaries are not extradited to the United States. The second reason is to undermine our Charter of Rights and Freedoms because it cannot be guaranteed by Chinese authorities that extradited Canadian-Chinese will receive due process of law in China. By signing an extradition treaty, Justin would be undermining his father's greatest achievement--The Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  

One might ask then what leverage do Canadians have in negotiations to release prisoners. The answer is none. There are no Chinese prisoners for Canadians to trade for Canadian prisoners in China. The Chinese are able willy nilly to pick up any Canadian for any reason and hold them as pawns to be sacrificed in negotiation. If prisoners wish to be free then they must plead guilty and beg for mercy. 

Therefore, in the author's opinion, not only should Canada reject any consideration of an extradition treaty, but should cancel the existing extradition agreement with China. That extradition agreement is  based to a great extent on British law as it applied to Hong Kong more than a century ago. This week several Hong Kongers are on trial for peacefully protesting against totalitarianism under a Hong Kong ruled by mainland China. 

One would be remiss if one did not mention the case of the Canadian missionary Kevin Garratt who was arrested for spying. He was held in a Chinese prison for two years. It was said (but not admitted by Canadian negotiators) that he was released by the Chinese if they were allowed to present their agenda regarding an extradition treaty with Canada. 

This intrigue and machination took place at the beginning of exploratory free trade talks between Canada and China. China was totally in control all the time. This was evidenced by the dockage issue raised by the Chinese in the canola negotiations as reported by the author. The Chinese cleverly linked dockage to human rights without Canadian negotiators even recognizing the relation while at the same time telling them not to talk about human rights along with trade. After everything was over, all the  Canadian negotiators could ask themselves is "What the hell happened?" The Chinese played Trudeau as a puppet in a Hebei shadow opera. 


One occasionally hears about one of the five Canadian prisoners as their case proceeds. For example, the SUN Qian trial (if one can call it that) began and finished on September 12, 2018. SUN pleaded innocent and declared her right to practice Falun Gong. This case is complicated because it also involves a billion dollar medical company. At the end of the trial the judge made no decision. This seems to signal that he wants a guilty plea. 


Most Canadians are familiar with the case of John CHANG. His arrest was based on administrative or commercial law, but somehow criminal law was applied. Nothing like arbitrarily changing charges or the rules to ensure a longer sentence. It meant that he was charged with smuggling which also has a much more broad definition. CHANG declared his innocence by saying he believed the shipment was valued at a proper price and that he was exporting legally. The trial of CHANG finished some time ago, but as far as is known to the author, no verdict has yet been rendered. A trial without a verdict is itself injustice because it waits for a guilty plea. 


The fourth of the FIVE LIVES is Canadian WANG Bingzhang. He has been imprisoned the longest at over sixteen years for the crime of political activism. He serves in solitary confinement which is a cruel and unusual punishment. In 2002, he was kidnapped from Vietnam and brought to China where he was imprisoned. In a similar way, CECIL was arrested in an extraterritorial way outside of China in Uzbekistan. The fifth of the FIVE LIVES or XIAO Jianhua was arrested outside of the mainland in Hong Kong from where he was spirited out in the disguise of a military overcoat with hood over head and perhaps in wheelchair. 


XIAO Jianhua built a business empire made up of hundreds of corporations linked through complicated ownership structures. He amassed a personal wealth of at least 6 billion dollars (U.S.) by facilitating finances of highly connected political figures. Currently, he is under house arrest as he unwinds various business deals. His main connection to Canada seems to be a Canadian passport; although, the author seems to recall that his wife Zhou Hongwen and some children are now in Canada. It is reported that he may be charged with stock price manipulation and bribery. 

D.卡尔顿 罗西

D. Carlton Rossi