I see an article in Axios which says that “A series of diplomatic incidents has undone decades of work building Sweden-China relations.” This comes just as a very senior Chinese diplomat threatened to destroy Australia’s economy, and as the Chinese had a small temper tantrum, also accompanied by trade boycott threats because the Netherlands changed the name of its “office” in Taiwan from “The Netherlands Trade and Investment Office,” to the simpler “Netherlands Office Taipei.” “In response,” an article in the Taiwan News says, “the Chinese embassy in the European country on Tuesday lodged “solemn representations” and demanded a “clarification” of the name change from the Dutch government. The embassy claimed that the name change “concerns China’s core interests” and reminded the Netherlands to dutifully adhere to its “one China principle.””
All this comes after China’s bullying of its neighbours over territorial claims in the South China Seas and its dispute with Canada over the detention of Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver while a US extradition request is litigated.
This is a marked change from Deng Xiaoping’s dictum: “hide your ambitions and disguise your claws,” which guided Chinese foreign policy for decades. Change is always happening but this time it appears, to me, to be not working.
Australia, the Netherlands and Sweden are not backing down.
Canada is not standing up with the rest fo them. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems like a deer captivated by the headlights … the business of grand strategy is, quite simply, beyond his (limited, school-boyish) intellectual capacity. Instead, Canada dithers and dodges, looking for a hole in which to hide. In fact, the Chinese praised Prime Minister Trudeau for being a wimp. We’ve fallen a long way since 1914, 1939, 1950 and even 2001.
That needs to change. We don’t need to stand shoulder-to-shoulder and issue-by-issue with the Donald Trump, that would be bad politics and bad polys, too. But why on earth can we not stand with Australia, the Netherlands and Sweden? The current Government of Canada is a disgrace. Canada needs new, better, leadership, now.
There is nothing wrong with asking how China mismanaged the outbreak and spread of this pandemic … it is nor racist to want to learn lessons. Yes, if we stand up for ourselves, if we want to get to the truth, the current Chinese government will bluster and bully and threaten and, most likely, take improper, undiplomatic and downright improper acts to punish us … sometimes risks are worth taking … measuring risk and making tough decisions is what real leaders do. Justin Trudeau is not a leader … Canada needs one, now.