D.卡尔顿 罗西
D. Carlton Rossi

Free-Trade 3


                                                               Joseph Kahn  

                  Managing Editor of The New York Times

In May 2003, Joseph Kahn (who was a reporter for The New York Times) had been transfered to Beijing. He wrote about the arrest of SUN Dawu in a story called A Chinese Robin Hood Runs afoul of Beijing and catapulted the case into the international arena. Today, he is a Managing Editor of The New York Times. It seems worthwhile therefore to revisit a series on "Rule by Law" in China which appeared in 2005.

In particular, the author would like to draw the reader's attention to the story called "Dispute Leaves U.S. Executive in Chinese Legal Netherworld". Today, it is important for those interested in free-trade with China to understand this case. There are eerie resemblances to the John Chang case which by detractors is portrayed as an anomaly and for which John Chang must take responsibilty at least for crimes of omission. This case demonstrates the validity that Rule by Law in China is not the exception but rather the rule. It reinforces the position that Canadian officials and business executives of an elite club must take a second, sober view of the demerits of free-trade with China.

Currently, they believe in the power of words or what might be viewed as "polite power". In Chinese terms it might be regarded as "qi gong". Qi Gong is practiced by the elderly in China. It is practiced for health reasons and as a social grace.

However, the case of JI Longfen demonstrates that Chinese officials are not interested in using soft, judicious words. All is said in a brief sentence. Sign the confession with the pen or lose your hand. Keep this in mind in your exploratory free-trade negotiations. Do you really believe that you can have rule of law in a trade agreement when rule by law is the norm in China and where extra territoriality is exercised? Do you really think that you can divorce free-trade from freedom of human rights in an unholy marriage? Do you really consider that you can sanitize an extradition treaty so that it does not weaken the Charter?

D.卡尔顿 罗西



                                                     Mackenzie King   1937


Robert Fulford has advanced the viewpoint that China's leader has assumed the role of dictator. Fulford also says that "He’s expected to win his second five-year term as General Secretary at the Congress, but there’s every chance he will go on later to win a third term, one more than tradition allows." What implications might this hold for Canada in terms of free-trade and the number of terms a Prime Minister may have?

Canada is holding secret, exploratory free-trade talks (and one might say pre-extradition treaty discussions) with a Core Leader who as dictator makes all the decisions. It is not "if" but "when" formal free-trade talks begin as both sides are gung-ho about an agreement which will mark the beginning of a golden era for China and a bronze era for Canada. If it were an Olympics competition in diving then Canada would plunge to bronze metal status.

If a free-trade treaty were signed then it would mark the first time that Canada has formalized an agreement with a dictatorial regime. The term "free-trade" would have to be reclassified for Canada as unfree-trade since China is the hammer and Canada is the nail or, rather, China is the sickle and Canada is the sick and dying. The Liberal government would formally call it--through its unofficial propaganda department-- the Canada-China Free-Trade Agreement, but everyone knows it would be the China-Canada Free-Trade Agreement. However, since China is a dictatorial regime under the leadership of an autocrat then it would be de facto a Xi-Canada Free-Trade Agreement.

The Constitution of the United States limits the term of the President to two terms. This means that even if there were a good leadership under a constitutional expert such as Obama then he would have to step down because it could potentially develop into a dictatorship of the left. In other words, this is one of the checks and balances of the American system. It also means, though, that if there were a bad leadership under an incompetent and destabilized individual such as Trump (who championed the false birther argument) that he would have to step down after eight years to potentially prevent the development of a dictatorship of the right. Many Americans under Trump probably hope that a President be limited to only one term, but in a compensatory way Trump is also weakening the office of President.

However, Canada does not limit the terms of the Prime Minister. The term could be for life. Steve McQuark has said "The position of Prime Minister is not legally defined. As such, anyone could be Prime Minister for any period of time." This situation can lead to unintended consequences such as the prime ministership of William Lyon Mackenzie King (WLMK).

WLMK was Prime Minister for over 22 years. He was remembered as a competent Prime Minister. On the private side though he was a spiritualist who sought the advice of mediums. It is not certain if this advice over road or took precedence over advice from his own political advisors or perhaps this other worldly advice merely confirmed the views of these aides or those of himself. There was one special incident of paramount importance though when WLMK's private beliefs came to the forefront. That event took place when he met Hitler. WLMK believed the words of a dictator and appeased him. King himself was not a dictator, but he fawned on Hitler.

Critics may argue that the electoral system will tend to limit the ambitions of any prime minister. To a certain extent this might be true. For example, in the last federal election the author voted for a liberal candidate. It was not because he cared much about the local candidate who was conservative and almost guaranteed to be re-elected. It was not because he cared much about the issues. It was not because he favoured Justin Trudeau. He voted for the local, liberal candidate because he did not want to see the Hon. Prime Minister Steven Harper have a third term of five years. This is not to imply that it was perceived that Harper showed authoritarian proclivities and propensities.

However, the electoral system is flawed. First-Past-the-Post System leads to many irregularities. Gerrymandering skews geometric shapes of districts. These issues are complex and difficult to solve--at least politically. In addition, there is the problem that Canadians are just so disillusioned with politicians that they generally stay away from the polls in droves. Canadians need to have assurances in their voting system and laws that any Prime Minister who shows dictatorial tendencies of the left or the right will not remain in office more than ten years. That is a simple issue which is easily solved through legislation. This legislation must be passed before the government has a Prime Minister who shows dictatorial characteristics; otherwise, it will never be passed. In this case, Canada might have a dictator for his or her lifetime.

The limitation of the term of the Prime Minister to two terms of five years' each is of more importance in a world where governments and leaders are more authoritarian. Theoretically speaking, an individual could emigrate from mainland China at the age of thirteen with his or her family who were members of the Communist Party, become a Canadian citizen at the age of eighteen and then through strategic contributions to political parties with the help of higher-ups of the Party become Prime Minister of Canada at the age of nineteen for life.

If the Liberal government is negotiating a free-trade agreement with a dictatorial regime where that agreement and extradition treaty is but a foregone conclusion then it is encumbent on it to limit the term of any future Prime Minister to two terms of five years each. Ironically, this would match the system of the Chinese Communist Party whose leadership position of General Secretary is limited by convention to two terms of five years.

Finally, if Canada and China are negotiating in exploratory free-trade trade talks where actual free-trade talks are inevitable and free-trade is a probability along with an extradition treaty which bypasses to a certain extent the Charter of Rights and Freedoms then the limitation of a Prime Minister's office to two terms of five-years is a necessity for Canada's democracy, security and sovereignty. Why would Canada wish to have the maximum term of a Prime Minister exceed the ten year period held by convention for the position of the General Secretary of the Communist Party? Why would Canada wish to have the same Prime Minister enter into a third term of office thus potentially further sinking Canada into the quagmire of a free-trade agreement with a dictatorial regime led by a Core Leader who cultivates cult of personality?

D.卡尔顿 罗西



Better late than never: The Trudeau government is finally getting the right advice on China

In 2018, we described the government as suffering from China 'delusions.' We said the failure of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, seen here on Feb. 26, 2020, to kick start free-trade talks with China in 2017 was a 'blessing in disguise.'

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

The Globe and Mail

March 03, 2020

Late last year, officials at Global Affairs prepared a briefing note on “how to approach relations with China.” The analysis of the relationship with the world’s second superpower was made public last week by the House of Commons Special Committee on Canada-China Relations. (The committee is one of the blessings of a minority Parliament.)

After years of seeing China as a land of rainbows and dollar signs, the government is no longer receiving advice from Fantasy Island. China’s retaliation for the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, involving economic punishment and hostage-taking, has left Ottawa with no choice but to wise up.

“While Canada has long framed its China policy through the lens of economic opportunity,” says the briefing note, “it now needs to take account of Beijing’s long-term strategic challenge to Canadian interests and values.”

What about the dream of a reaching a free-trade agreement (FTA) with China, and doing so quickly, so as to gain economic advantage over our trading partners? The “Because It’s 2015” Trudeau government was all over that. The 2020 version, not so much.



The Battle of Terheide, 10 August 1653: episode from the First Anglo-Dutch War (1652-54).

Generally speaking, I'm in agreement with the above editorial. The one exception is the phrase "The 2020 version, not so much". Any free trade agreement with China, in whatever version it is, between a democratic government and an authoritarian one is an oxymoron. The Chinese policy is mercantilist through maximising exports and minimising imports. It leads to colonial expansion. Canada is the colony. Mercantilism may lead to war for control of trade through the seas. There is no "not so much" version of free-trade. It is not a win-win case (2015) or win-partial win version (2020), but a zero-sum scenario.

It seems that Trudeau dreams of co-existence between the irreconcilable in many areas not only in Canada, but outside of Canada. He believes he can push a Liberal political agenda regarding women's issues and LGBT rights in the People's Republic of China. He thinks there is no contradiction in his relativist unreality between democracy and autocracy.  He does not see any discrepancy between business as usual with China and China's detention/concentration camps. Since Canada recognized the People's Republic of China in 1970 under Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau he believes that he can extend his father's achievement by embracing wholeheartedly and without reservation the acceptance of and co-existence between two countries through free-trade which have diametrically opposed values and goals--not to mention a vast difference in scale while at the same time pursuing free-trade with the United States. 

The views of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of a minority government remind me of a seventies I'm Okay You're Okay, Hippie Dippie, Peter Panish, hallucinogenic trip. The man is a living example of an oxymoron. It matters profoundly if the cat is black or white and the mouse it wants is Canada.



Sounds of silence are coming from the Chinese-Canada talks on free-trade. One reason is that the Liberal government likes to give the false impression that it can conduct free-trade talks (exploratory or otherwise) with China and the United States at the same time. They have a "Minister of Everything" who can accomplish this remarkable feat. However, the government can only give the appearance of tackling two tasks at the same time. Sisyphus had a hard enough time rolling one boulder to the top of a mountain as punishment for his craftiness and deceitfulness. Should the Liberal government be asked to roll up two boulders on opposite sides of the mountain at the same time? The silence coming from the Liberal government on China-Canada negotiations are sounds of duplicity and hypocrisy. 

D.卡尔顿 罗西




Betwixt and Between Free-Trade

It is a rather awkward or uncomfortable period for Canadian trade negotiators. They are betwixt and between if one resorts to an archaic, poetic expression. Negotiators have completed the third round of exploratory free-trade talks with China and shortly NAFTA talks are about to begin with the United States.

If one must resort to a political slogan one can say that Canadian negotiators are currently between "walking and chewing gum" at the same time. To make any sense of it one must link "chewing gum" or what is rather a bad habit to relieve stress with Canadian-Chinese negotiations and walking as an essential function; at least, in order to get to the negotiating table with the Americans. The Canadian negotiators in a Janus-like fashion look behind at the Chinese-Canadian talks and ahead to the American-Canadian talks. They are confident that their action of allowing the sale of ITF and Norsat will be overlooked and is of little consequence to the Americans--even if there are heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula. They can also fully measure the risks and rewards of Canadian free-trade with China and that of the United States--even if it is like comparing apples and oranges.

Canadians simply do not know if the same negotiators are used in both negotiations which contributes to a sense of unease. It would be hard for Canadians to imagine that they are the same negotiators because it requires an entirely different mind-set. For example, Chinese negotiators want a free-trade agreement, but "rule by law" is the accepted standard in China. American negotiators want to renegotiate NAFTA by tweaking it and have followed "rule of law" since at least the beginning of NAFTA and the Auto Pact. Chinese negotiators demand Canada drop its protectionist measures while they speak on behalf of state-owned enterprises. American negotiators ask for Canada to open-up its dairy and softwood industries so that American industries are not positioned at an unfair advantage in terms of subsidies. Chinese negotiators want Canada to allow China to buy sensitive high-technology companies which will weaken America's military preparedness. On the other hand, America's trade bodies may impose restrictions on China because the PRC demands foreign companies (including Canadian) to set-up joint ventures in China or lose market access.

However, the period between here and there is awkward to say the least for Canadian negotiators because the United States and North Korea may be on the verge of thermonuclear war. Australia which has a free-trade agreement with China has said through its Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull "If there's an attack on the US, the ANZUS Treaty would be invoked and Australia would come to the aid of the United States, as America would come to our aid if we were attacked." In contrast, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has commented that “We are also very clear that we stand by all of our allies, very much including the United States. When they are threatened, we are there.” The Minister did not clarify what "very clear" means nor where "there" is.

In terms of free-trade, it is awkward because the United States has rejected free-trade with China and may soon determine if a a trade investigation is merited of China for the alleged theft of American technology and intellectual property. It is awkward again for Canada because it has negotiated with China in the third round of talks about softwood lumber while at the same time knowing that softwood lumber will become one of the most contentious topics at negotiations with the Americans. Is Canada trying to give the impression to the Americans that it has an alternative trading partner for softwood lumber in dealings with the Chinese and that it will retool its industry to meet metric standards? Finally, it is awkward for Canada because China will want access to our dairy products as it has done with Australia and New Zealand, but is Canada willing to buy powered Chinese baby formula which has been associated with deaths in the past?



In July 1961, the Sino-DPRK Friendship and Co-operation Treaty" is signed after the two sides led by Zhou Enlai and Kim Il Sung exchange documents.

Canada depends on the military protection of NATO which relies heavily on the United States, but more specifically on NORAD and the defence capabilities of the United States. However, China has been a party to the Sino-North Korea Treaty of July 1961. Specifically, Article 2 of the treaty declares the two nations undertake all necessary measures to oppose any country or coalition of countries that might attack either nation. A few days ago, China reaffirmed its support of Article 2 through a statement in the Global Times.

One might conjecture that if a country like Australia sided with the United States against North Korea that it might find itself at war with China if the US were the first to attack thus alienating its biggest trading partner or China. On the other hand, if a country like Canada did not side fully in specific terms with the United States against North Korea then it might alienate its largest trading partner or the United States.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea has extensive trade with the People's Republic of China. Kent Boydston of the Peterson Institute for International Economics wrote in an email. “It’s worth noting that China has not reported crude oil exports to North Korea since early 2014, but it is quite clear that North Korea is still importing Chinese crude oil.” North Korea actually buys most of its condensate from Iran, but it is refined in China. The export volume is approximately 520,000 tons per year. In the past, North Korea and Iran have co-operated on missile technology. "DPRK needs hard cash to fund its programs and to keep its leading position. Moreover, North Korea has made advancements in its missile program, such as solid-propellant missile technology (like the medium-range missile KN-15) that was tested this year, which would meet Iran's current needs."

It is now apparent that if Canada undertakes free-trade with a major power that it must also consider that power's allies. If the major power has rule of law which governs itself and free-trade then it is likely to have allies, too, that are governed by rule of law. However, if the major power does not have rule of law and interprets a free-trade agreement according to its own domestic laws and also tries to use a country's rule of law against itself then that major power may have powerful allies that are so too governed and inclined.

To be more specific, the United States is a country governed by rule of law. Article II, Section 4  of the US Constitution says that "the President, Vice President, and "all civil Officers of the United States"—which includes judges—can be impeached." If obstruction of justice or collusion with a foreign government is suspected then a special prosecutor can be appointed to investigate the matter. In terms of free-trade, any problems encountered between the United States and its partner can be handled by a dispute resolution method governed by the agreement and by international rules of trade.

With respect to China, it is a country governed by rule by law. Its President has consolidated power to an unprecedented extent. There are no checks and balances in the system as the PRC has been run by a single Party on a continuous basis for nearly 100 years. There are no meaningful elections in the country. In terms of free-trade, it is assured that there will always be an imbalance in favour of China because China simply does not play by the rules on a level playing field. It is assured that China has little interest in free-trade, but will use the agreement as a strategic means to undermine US defense and security systems. In addition, it will undermine all aspects of life in Canada due to the influence of SOE's which have low-interest funding.

However, there is a marked difference in the two countries with respect to one ally which acts as a proxy for China and that is North Korea. This country is developing a missile system and nuclear program which threatens international peace and security. It has developed these programs despite the fact that its people starved. Famine was used as a method to control opposition before natural disaster hit the country thus exacerbating the problem. It was reminiscent of what transpired earlier in China during the Great Chinese Famine where scholars have estimated the number of famine victims to be between 20 and 43 million. During this period grain was sent to the Soviet Union in order to purchase arms. If people starve then there are no human rights since the right to food must first be met.


                                   New Yalu/Amrok Bridge

The New Yalu Bridge was ostensibly built to strengthen trade between China and North Korea--particularly with its free trade zones. However, its opening has been continually delayed. It would be a mistake to regard the New Yalu Bridge though as a "Bridge to Nowhere". Its main purpose may be to provide a means to rapidly move artillery, troops and tanks across the river in the event of war. This force may be used to contain the threat at nuclear sites, but it also may have other purposes.

Furthermore, China has also said that it may send troops into North Korea to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in the event of war. If China does not recognize human rights in its own country then how can one accept this explanation as plausible. China wants to prevent millions of refugees from entering its own territory thus potentially threatening its sovereignty and security.

D.卡尔顿 罗西