D.卡尔顿 罗西
D. Carlton Rossi

John Chang


                                                      The Chang Family

Trudeau urged to delay trade talks
until China frees two Canadians

Robert Fife and Steven Chase


November 28, 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is being urged to postpone free-trade talks with China until the authoritarian regime frees two Canadians who have been detained for more than 20 months over a customs duty dispute.

Amy Chang, whose father and mother have been trapped in China since March, 2016, wrote to Mr. Trudeau on Monday, asking him to "directly help free my parents" when he meets President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang next week.

"I am asking you to delay launching formal free-trade negotiations with China until my parents are back home safely in Canada," Ms. Chang wrote in the letter to Mr. Trudeau that was provided to The Globe and Mail.

"If your government cannot protect and defend honest Canadian business people in China today, how will you be able to protect and defend honest Canadians doing business in China after we have a free-trade agreement?"



Beware risks of business with China: former ambassador

Lynn Desjardins

November 30, 2017

A former Canadian ambassador to China says the Canadian government is not doing a good enough job of warning people of the risks of doing business in China. Chinese authorities have imprisoned Canadian wine producer John Chang for over 20 months and his wife’s passport has been confiscated because of a customs dispute. And his is not the only such case.

Former ambassador saw several cases a year “My specific concern related to cases of Canadian business people…who are involved in a commercial dispute in China that suddenly becomes… a criminal matter which leads to the intimidation and sometimes the imprisonment of a Canadian,” said David Mulroney, former ambassador and now president of the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto.

“We need to have a comprehensive strategy that includes thinking about consular affairs—so, how to protect Canadians in China, thinks about cyber espionage, thinks about how China has a wider impact on our foreign policy…A free trade agreement should be one element in a very comprehensive and sophisticated foreign policy that I simply haven’t seen us developing yet.”

The department of Global Affairs currently features one line in its travel advisory for China that says, "Canadian business travellers have been detained and had their passports confiscated as a result of business disputes with their Chinese counterparts."

Mr. Mulroney said this caution is buried too deep in a multipage document and should instead be given prominent placement in advice offered by Canada to its citizens.

"The warning should be 'You may be caught up in a business dispute that morphs into a criminal dispute and you will be imprisoned or your passport will be taken away. And our consular ability to help you will be limited or none,'" the former envoy said.

Mr. Mulroney said incidents of Canadians detained in China over commercial disputes were increasing during his tenure in China but that many of those ensnared in such matters preferred to keep quiet about what happened either because they had relatives in China or wished to keep doing business in that country.

"It's an all-too-common occurrence and it's designed to intimidate the foreign party. … Suddenly a commercial dispute you would willingly fight out in court is now a matter of your own freedom – and it's very hard for people not to crumble under that kind of pressure," the former envoy said.

He said Ottawa is not sufficiently addressing what has happened to Mr. Chang and his wife or the implications for Canadian business.

"If a Canadian business person who has been a poster boy for doing business with China is wrongfully imprisoned that is a very difficult and very real issue," he said.


Listen to David Mulroney on Chinese risks
11:20 minutes



                                    Amy Chang   CEO   Lulu Island Winery

                          The Case of John Chang


A few Canadians know about the takeover of Black Hills Estate Winery, Gray Monk Estate Winery and Tinhorn Creek Vineyards by Andrew Peller Ltd.


All Canadians know about the wildfires which affected the Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma counties in California. It may affect the supply and taste of Napa and Sonoma wines for years to come.


                  John Chang and his wife Allison Lu

Almost no Canadians know about the current fate of the Canadian, family entrepreneur known as John Chang of Lulu Island Winery who was arrested and tried for alleged smuggling of icewine into China. His case deserves the highest priority of the Canadian government. Sadly, though, it seems that the Chang case and human rights in general have been sacrificed on the altar of preparatory Canada-China free-trade talks. They sacrifice so much for so little.

D.卡尔顿 罗西



                                    Amy Chang

An Update of the Criminal Case against the Chang Family

It is the author's practice to leave accounts of important, unresolved court issues concerning human rights such as the John Chang case on the front page of the website. It may be that the case will now go to a higher court for a final decision. However, in the meantime, the author has decided instead to create a special tab so that readers can access the information. This is mainly due to space limitation on the front page which loads slowly for all stories-- including the Chang case-- if megabyte ceilings are exceeded.

The author though will continue to remind his readers that Chang is still under arrest and that his health is continuing to deteriorate under imprisonment. A civil case has inexplicably transformed into a criminal case with potentially harsh penalties. It is the author's opinion that he and his wife are being held in order to put pressure on the Canadian government to accept an extradition treaty which may deprive more Canadians of their charter and human rights. Furthermore, the Liberal government is not pressing the human rights issue in order to appease Chinese with regard to free-trade.

It is unknown if Amy Chang was able during her Ottawa visit to get ten minutes of the Prime Minister's time in order to discuss the cases of her parents. It is unknown if the Prime Minister gave ten minutes of his time to Amy Chang on his visit to Niagara-on-the Lake where he merrily, merrily rowed his boat down the river. What is known is that John Chang is still languishing and deteriorating in a Chinese prison and his wife's Canadian passport has been seized.

Generally speaking, Canadians have the impression that "exploratory" free-trade talks are more important to the Liberal government than the plight of a Canadian charged with an alleged smuggling crime apparently done for years under the noses of Chinese customs and in plain sight at their custom's facility. Liberal politicians and their surrogates want to tout free-trade while ignoring the lack of freedom and restrictions placed on Chang who conducted trade in icewine which is quintessentially Canadian in character. They do not challenge through a FIPA lawsuit the knock-off industry in icewine nor the arrest of Chang. The fake icewine industry has been costing Canadian farmer entrepreneurs millions of dollars a year for decades and the integrity of a reputable industry has suffered.

Our ambassador to China finds it necessary to sell free-trade with China. Canadians are well aware of the importance of international trade. However, we do not have to be sold on "free". We are free. We want to remain free. We were not given rights under the Charter, but rather the Charter recognized our existing rights.

What exactly does it mean to be free? The author is currently reading the autobiography of Heinrich Harrer as written in Seven Years in Tibet. He may be best known for his participation in the first expedition which conquered the sheer rockface of the Eiger.  Prior to World War II, he was scouting the best way to climb a mountain in the Himalayas. However, with Britain's entry into the war against Germany he was arrested by the Indian government because he was German. On one of three occasions, he escaped from the prison camp in which he was held. He viewed at night the lights of the camp which was situated 3000 feet below. At that moment, he felt free. John Chang will be free when he looks down on his prison from a height of 35,000 feet (about the height of Mt. Everest) as he travels back to Canada by plane. Tibetans will be free when they look down from the same height.

In the author's opinion it is a mistake for the Liberal government to lump the cases of Canadians held in Chinese prisons if that is what is being done. They may want to resolve all cases at the same time, but the cases and individuals are very different. The cases involve Xiao Jianhua, Sun Quan and finally John Chang. The case given the highest priority is that of Xiao Jianhua.

The reason this case has the highest priority is because former Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney ingratiated himself with the Liberal government by opening political doors for FTA talks in the United States. In return, it seems, he received a quid pro quo whereby he would help facilitate the release of Xiao Jianhu who has been a member of the Communist Party since 1989 or at the time of the Tiananmen demonstration. Xiao is a billionaire who is said as a financier to have controlled on behalf of Party members over a trillion dollars. He might also have personal contacts gained over the years which might be of interest to anyone who might want money made under rule by law to be protected in a country like Canada with rule of law.

The Sun Qian case on the surface involves someone who is accused of being associated with a religious organization. However, it is important to remember that the Falun Gong began as an organization sponsored by the state to promote athleticism--today, the state is sponsoring soccer. Qi Gong was and still is a healthy way to promote bodily strength and spirit. The Falun Gong organization promoting Qi Gong was suppressed when it was perceived to threaten state power. In other words, it was repressed for political reasons rather than religious ones. Basically, therefore, the Xiao and Sun cases are politically oriented.

The author was never bothered for a minute because he practiced "hard Qi Gong" or Mei Hua Zhang and Kenpo in China. He was never bothered for a minute because he was a practicing Buddhist in China. He was never bothered for a minute because he was a practicing Buddhist who practiced Kungfu. He did not try to lead or follow others, but remained a rugged individual. However, Communist China does try to reduce the individual to a compliant machine and especially frowns on a group of individuals who resist becoming automatons by exercising free will in a spiritual or civic movement or moment.

It cannot be denied that there is a rather uneasy relationship between the state and religion in China where the non-religion of the state is considered atheism. Retired Party members who followed Communism almost religiously during their careers cannot become Buddhists who seek salvation through rebirth. Party members must swear loyalty to the principles of Marxism-Leninism with Chinese characteristics rather than worship the foreign god of Christianity and ordinary Chinese cannot be influenced by Revelation which is excluded from prayer books. Islamism is studied very carefully in order to eradicate it and adherents of Islam tend to be viewed as potential terrorists. Finally, Falun Gong are regarded as extremists in the same way that the early Christian church in Rome was persecuted because believers would not swear loyalty to the Roman emperor.

What the state fears is that any group of individuals will become a movement. That is why monks at one of the oldest temples in Beijing find an army barracks next door. Falun Gong became a movement when they marched on Beijing in the number of 10,000. In other words, the state saw Falun Gong as a potential threat to its existence. However, repressive measures used against Tibetan monks, Christians, Islamic religious minorities and Falun Gong members almost guarantee that resistance will continue. More repression means more resistance.

Today, the definition of a group of individuals has become smaller and smaller. Even a small group can threaten the political existence of the state if there are many small groups. For example, Xu Zhiyong held private dinner parties of five people to discuss responsibilities of good citizens and constitutionality. If someone on the internet expresses non-conformist views and his message is shared then it is treated as a threat. Resistance tendencies tend to be viewed as a threat to Communist supremacy and they are trod upon.

The Sun case though differs from the Xiao case with respect to financial characteristics. The Xiao case involves massive financing of non-transparent nature while the Sun case involves entrepreneurship. Sun may have been worth a considerable amount of money, but that money and her large ownership position in the company has dissipated if not disappeared in rather mysterious circumstances.

The Chang case involves a successful, Canadian, family entrepreneur who concentrated on a niche market to sell his products in Asia. As far as the author is aware the Liquor Control Board of Ontario does not impose a tariff on Chinese wine. However, China imposes restrictive tariffs on Canadian exports of wines. Isn't that called protectionism and can't it be regarded as unfair? Chang is charged with smuggling icewine by undervaluing his product which was affected by these punitive tariffs. Clearly, it was a customs case until Chang had the effrontery to declare his innocence in a country where everyone is presumed guilty until proven innocent.

Because the Chang case is not political in the Chinese sense it should be the easiest for Canada to demand his release. However, is the Liberal government miffed because former Prime Minister Stephen Harper asked Chang along on a trade mission to China? It would seem hypocritical though if they held this circumstance against Chang and at the same time were cajoled by former Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney into giving the highest priority to the Xiao case which is inherently and intimately political in nature.

Because the Chang case is in reality a customs or civil case governed by international rules it should also be the easiest to solve. Canada signed FIPA so it would have the right to sue in cases similar to the Chang case where there was a double standard. China imposes tariffs on wines while one of the biggest consumer markets in Canada does not. The second double standard is that China ignores the sale of counterfeit icewine which does not have to face tariffs and overlooks the importation of Canadian grapes imported into China in order to process fake icewine, but imposes tariffs on foreign sales of legitimate icewine imported from abroad.

It is not known if Canada has or has not launched an arbitration case against the Chinese government over the Chang case and the broader issue of counterfeit icewine. The reason for the lack of knowledge is that both sides are bound by promise not to disclose the details of the case nor even if an arbitration case exists. However, at the moment, there seems to be no indication that a FIPA case has been triggered by the Liberal government; although, potentially, it could be initiated by a private Canadian corporation.

On the other hand, the author's suspicions have been aroused that the Chinese government may have intimated that a FIPA case was imminent with regard to the restrictions placed on the Chinese acquisition of Norsat International. The reason is that Chinese officials continuously referred to protectionist sentiments of the Liberal government even though it appears to Canadians to be a matter of national security and not trade protection. If so it is also possible that the Chinese intimidated the Liberal government through an actual FIPA case which took place during the time of exploratory free-trade talks in Beijing and then were followed up at the time of the second round of exploratory free-trade talks in Canada. It almost seems like a secret within a secret since Canadians know little about exploratory free-trade talks and nothing about particular arbitration cases under FIPA. All Canadians know definitively is that more cases have been initiated by China against other countries than other countries have conducted against China--particularly to appease Chinese with regard to free-trade talks even if they are in the so-called exploratory stage.

D.卡尔顿 罗西