ENGAGING CHINA WITH CANADIAN VALUES
Notes for Hon. David Kilgour, J.D. of International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC),
Canadian International Council Forum Alt Hotel, Ottawa
May 8, 2019, 7 pm
Wei Jingsheng of the Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition notes that “The constitution of the Chinese Communist Party very clearly states: ‘the whole country of China must obey the CCP leadership, the whole CCP must obey (its) central committee’…”
Periodically since it seized power in 1949, the party-state in Beijing has persecuted minorities mercilessly, no doubt to instil terror in the Chinese people generally. Four of these campaigns since 1950 were:
• ‘The Great Leap Forward’, 1958-1962, during which an estimated 40 million people starved to death,
• ‘The Cultural Revolution’ of 1966-76 saw perhaps another two million killed,
• The Tiananmen Square massacre of June 1989, where soldiers probably killed a minimum of 10,000 protesters seeking democracy and the rule of law,
• In mid-1999, violence against the Falun Gong (aka Falun Dafa) community, which advocates a Buddhist approach to spiritual and physical health, was unleashed by the party-state in Beijing and continues today. As Dr. Sophie Richardson of Human Rights Watch just indicated, the government has recently extended similar treatment to the Uyghur Muslim community in Xinjiang. It would appear that all Uyghurs entering ‘re- education camps’ there since 2013 are blood-tested, which, unlike DNA testing, is only useful for organ transplant purposes. One Uyghur who managed to get out of her camp and China reported once free that among those blood tested with her some later had orange bands on their arms. Those with arm bands soon disappeared from the camp. World leaders need to speak up about this; it cannot be ‘business as usual’ with a regime that treats national minorities so appallingly.
‘Great Leap Backwards’
The 19th Party Congress reflected President Xi Jinping’s wish to drag China from one party to Mao’s one-person rule in a great leap backwards.
An example of this regression is a government proposal in the Hong Kong Legislative Council now to amend its extradition laws to allow anyone apprehended, including about 300,000 Canadians resident in the city, on request by Beijing or other governments without rule of law to be removed from Hong Kong on concocted charges to such nations for ‘trial’. More than 130,000 protesters took to Hong Kong’s streets on April 28 to indicate their opposition. Yesterday, a respected delegation from Hong Kong, Martin Lee, Lee Cheuk-yan, Mak Yin-ting, James To and Nathan Law, came to Ottawa to urge Canadians and our government to take a strong position against the proposed measure .
Canadian Clive Ansley, who practised law in Shanghai for 14 years, notes: “China does not have a legal system in any meaningful sense. It is a completely bogus system, which was introduced in 1979 for reasons having little or nothing to do with any desire to implement Rule of Law… China is a brutal police state…There is a current saying amongst Chinese lawyers and judges who truly believe in the Rule of Law…: ‘Those who hear the case do not make the judgment; those who make the judgment have not heard the case’…. Nothing which has transpired in the ‘courtroom’ has any impact on the ‘judgment”.
China now has a third of the world’s billionaires. Its GDP per capita in recent years was in the (US)$7,000 range, about 55% of the world average, thus highlighting the Economist magazine’s conclusion that the country is going to grow old demographically before people beyond the Party elite can become prosperous. The Shanghai-based Hurun Group has concluded from its surveys that half of all Chinese millionaires are planning or considering moving to another country.
Jonathan Manthorpe’s recently-published Claws of the Panda details the party-state’s campaign since 1949 of influence and intimidation within Canada, chronicling how it has infected our politics, media, academia and business. He concludes correctly that Ottawa “would do well to listen more closely to public disquiet than to fantasies drawn out in vivid colour by the CCP’s agents of influence or the romantic notion that the example of Canadian civic values will change China.”
Wang Yu illustrates the off-camera face of the Xi regime. Ms. Wang after spending several years in prison has become a fearless champion of abused nationals. In 2013, she said, “Many people… don’t know that Chinese people are (treated) like animals that don’t have any basic rights”. Wang was arrested in 2015 and released the following year after being coerced to give a televised confession. She was later awarded the American Bar Association’s inaugural International Human Rights Award
Gao Zhisheng, twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, was moved in 2014 from prison to house arrest, but could at the time barely walk or speak because of the torture he had undergone. In 2015, he told Associated Press that he was tortured with an electric baton to his face and spent three years in solitary confinement since 2010. “Every time we emerge from the prison alive, it is a defeat for our opponents.”
Former European Parliament vice-president Edward McMillan-Scott compares Gao to Nelson Mandela. He adds about the UN’s former torture rapporteur, Dr. Manfred Nowak: “(In 2006 Nowak) estimated that some two-thirds of the seven to eight million detained in China’s re-education through labour system were practitioners of Falun Gong. Thousands of them perished from the illegal harvesting of their vital organs as part of the People’s Liberation Army’s lucrative organ transplant trade.”
Despite all, Gao observed recently: “The number of people held in Chinese prisons has always been highly classified. My personal and conservative estimate is that the number cannot be less than 15 million. China has far more prisons than universities. (It was only after years of working as a lawyer that I found out that there are more than 5,000 detention centers used for holding those on remand…)”.
Bloody Harvest/The Slaughter
In 2006, the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China (CIPFG) asked David Matas and me as volunteers to investigate persistent claims of organ pillaging/trafficking from Falun Gong practitioners. We released two reports and a book, Bloody Harvest, and have continued to investigate (Our revised report is accessible in 18 languages from www.david-kilgour.com.). We determined that for 41,500 transplants done in the years 2000-2005 in China, the sourcing beyond any substantive doubt was Falun Gong prisoners of conscience.
A co-founder of the International Coalition to end Organ Pillaging in China, Ethan Gutmann’s 2014 book, The Slaughter, places the persecution of the Falun Gong, Tibetan, Uyghur, and house Christian communities in current context. He explains how he arrived at his “best estimate” that organs of 65,000 Falun Gong and “two to four thousand” Uyghurs, Tibetans and Christians were “harvested” in the 2000-2008 period. Our update published in June, 2016 is accessible from https://endtransplantabuse.org/wp- content/uploads/2016/06/Bloody_Harvest-The_Slaughter-June-23-V2.pdf
Forced Labour Camps
Matas and I visited about a dozen countries to interview Falun Gong practitioners who managed to escape both the camps and the country. They told us of working in appalling conditions for up to sixteen hours daily in camps with no pay and little food, crowded sleeping conditions and torture. Inmates make a range of export products as subcontractors to multinational companies. This is gross corporate irresponsibility and a violation of WTO rules; it calls for an effective response by all trading partners of China
Response of Transplant Professionals
In the decades of the Soviet Union, mental health professionals globally faced the abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union against prisoners of conscience and acted strongly against it, helping to have Soviet era practices changed. Today, transplant professionals globally face the abuse of transplant surgery in Communist China, but their response has been disappointing. Only some have bothered to take the trouble to read the research and realize that what is going on in China with transplantations is mass killing of innocents and coverup. They react accordingly, distancing themselves from the Chinese transplant profession and encouraging others to do likewise.
The Chinese party-state has no credible factual answers to the work of independent researchers who have demonstrated the mass killings of innocents for transplantation. Indeed, given the massive scale of the transplantation business in China, it is impossible to deny this research in any credible manner. The Party publicizes and exaggerates the endorsements of the transplant professionals in democracies who have fallen for their propaganda. One can only hope that a willingness to confront the truth about China will prevail generally in the transplantation profession before many other innocents are killed for their organs. Our International Coalition to end Transplant Abuse in China website can be accessed at https://endtransplantabuse.org .
New Policy Directions for Canada
Many Canadians are today aware of the systematic human dignity abuses occurring across China and according to opinion surveys highly distrustful of the government in Beijing. Our governments and business people should examine why they are still supporting the violation of so many basic human rights in order to increase trade and investment with China. This has resulted mostly in Canadian jobs being outsourced to China and continuous increases in bi-lateral trade and investment deficits.
Are we so focused on access to inexpensive consumer goods and a potential large market that we ignore the human, social and natural environment costs paid by abused Chinese nationals to produce them? Consumers in many countries create much of the wealth in China, while its state-owned enterprises and spies ignore intellectual property laws and copy everything from small appliances to civilian and military aircraft. Chinese citizens seek safety and security, the rule of law, respect, education, good jobs, accountable governance and a good natural environment.
Consider some of Jonathan Manthorpe’s points from Claws of the Panda related to what
Canada should be doing as part of a refashioned engagement with China:
“Interference by the CCP in and attempts at the perversion of public life in Canada, coupled with the intimidation and harassment of individual Canadians, demand a response.” He adds that both Australia and New Zealand “have been much more open and vigorous than Canada in exposing and countering the CCP campaign…This has taken much greater political courage in Canberra than it would in Ottawa. China is Australia’s largest trade partner and the customer for a third of its exports, most of them raw materials.” It is now standing up to China and so should Canada.
Manthorpe cites as one example former CSIS analyst Michel Juneau-Katsuya telling a journalist in 2014 that his agency “found evidence that the Chinese Consulate in Toronto was directly interfering in elections by sending Chinese students into the homes of Chinese-language-only households and telling residents which candidates the Consulate wanted voters to choose.” At page 257, Manthorpe notes that between 2006 and 2017 fully 36 trips to China by our senators and MPs were sponsored by either the Chinese government or provincial business groups. He concludes his book by noting correctly that the “regime is no longer built on a viable social contract with the Chinese people…”
Canada’s ambassador to China from 2009 to 2012 David Mulroney recently wrote in the
Globe and Mail in part:
”We have to secure the freedom of detained Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, and save the lives of fellow Canadians Robert Schellenberg and Fan Wei, who face death sentences from a murky Chinese legal system that takes instruction from the Chinese state…
”… (Canada is) still in the grips of a misguided vision of China, one especially dear to the Canadian governing and business classes, that naively embraces almost everything that Beijing has on offer…Getting China right will be particularly difficult for a Liberal government that has, to put it charitably, struggled with foreign policy. The government approaches the world beyond our borders with the inexplicable conviction that other countries are either as progressive as Liberal voters or aspire to be. This is wrong, and dangerously so. We simply can’t postpone a rethink of our approach to China, and we must finally be open to the idea that, when it comes to engaging Beijing, smarter is better than comprehensive…”
“We also need to think carefully about trade and investment promotion, particularly in sectors like canola, where China’s immense demand gives it leverage over us. We need to work even harder at finding new markets and doing more processing here in Canada to add value to what we sell. China seems to find economic blackmail easiest with commodities…
Guy Saint-Jacques Former Canadian ambassador to China Guy Saint-Jacques:
“The Canadian government should announce that Canada will no longer pursue a free trade agreement with China because of this trust that has disappeared…I also think we should go to the WTO to file an official charge against China for what they are doing to our canola exports.” He adds that the federal government should put more effort into trade diversification and consider expelling Chinese athletes that are training in Canada for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. “…I think we are at the stage where we have to be firm because this is the only language that China understands.”
Former counsellor at the Canadian embassy in Beijing and associate professor of political science at Brock University Charles Burton:
“(The Canadian) government politely urging Beijing to grant visas to our agricultural specialists to show the Chinese that our canola seeds are not contaminated as they falsely claim, or seeking mildly supportive press releases from (other countries) is evidently not going to get us anywhere… China has a million or more Turkic Muslims in ‘re-education’ cultural genocide camps in the PRC’s northwest, and plans to do the same to Tibetans. Moreover, there are huge numbers of China’s own political prisoners suffering at least as badly in conditions similar to the ‘black jail’ incarceration of our two citizens. In this light, Canadian concerns are unlikely to be very high on the agenda of China’s Communist leadership.
“But the practice of most Western nations, to condemn politically while engaging economically, has enabled China to make divide-and-conquer an art form. While many
nations have issued statements supporting Canada’s outrage at China’s flaunting of international law, most countries remain silent, fearing Beijing’s retaliation…China succeeds in its existential threat to pluralistic, democratic and free-thinking societies because we have been blinded by greed, and have willingly looked away for more than 25 years as Communist authorities ignored international norms of human rights and fair trade…Currently, there is no coherent multi-national strategy against Chinese influence operations. The less we respond to it in any substantive way, the more China is emboldened in its practice of global disruption.”
What is most needed immediately from Ottawa are stronger political will and more sophistication in exerting Canadian values with the Beijing party-state on all bilateral issues.
Thank you (www.david-kilgour.com)