Ian Bremmer, CEO of the Eurasia Group, whose insights I have quoted and cited several times in this blog, explains, to Global TV, why the coincidental withdrawal of America from its accustomed role as global leader and China’s ambition to take that position for itself is a world problem … that is something I have previously addressed.
On that issue, I stand by my positions that:
- We should treat China with respect ~ it is a great, global power, after all, like it or not ~ and with caution because we might not, probably should not like all of the directions in which China will want to go with too much of the world following along; and
- We should seek to trade more freely with China because free(er) trade works.
In sum: respect and caution, but not fear, and free(er) trade within a rules based system.
Then Mr Bremmer explained in some detail why Prime Minister Trudeau’s recent overtures on free(er) trade were rebuffed by China: essentially the Chinese do not appreciate and, in fact, will not tolerate being lectured on issues like civil rights by the pipsqueak leader of a third tier power like Canada. They may have to take it, and smile, from America … but not from Justin Trudeau.
Meanwhile, the Financial Times reports that, in contrast, “French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to China’s imperial past during a state visit this week as he sought deals for French industry and co-operation on global issues such as climate change and terrorism … [because] … France is targeting improved diplomatic and trade relations with China as the Asian giant increases its share of global business and the US shows signs of retreating from the world stage … [and] … The French president has praised China’s endorsement of the Paris climate change accord to curb global warming, after US President Donald Trump announced his country’s withdrawal … [to sweeten the pot] … Mr Macron came bearing the offer of an industrial partnership for Airbus with China on the A380 if Chinese airlines place orders for the world’s largest passenger jet, whose future is in doubt unless it wins new customers … [and] … The concessions come as China erodes barriers erected by the European aircraft manufacturer and its competitor, Boeing, to keep potential Chinese competitors at bay.” France is a second tier nation, but President Marcon has gone to China to make deals, politely, as one should when negotiating with a top tier “great power.”
Prime Minister Trudeau went to China trying to do some political virtue signalling to the folks back home. The Chinese sent him packing because, quite simply, he was rude and immature. Canadian voters should all remember that in 2019.
I believe that China wants a free(er) trade deal with Canada; our resources are especially attractive, as is our banking and service sector as a potential “gateway” to the West. I do not suggest that we should ever kow-tow or give away the store, but we should want a good, fair deal, one that works for Canada and China, too … and we need a new, grown up, national leader who can and will negotiate it for us.