This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

 The Trudeau Government: Canada For Sale, China May Apply

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with China's Premier Li Keqiang in December.   Fred Dufour / Associated Press
"Law in China -- despite the term 'rule of law' and the deliberate attraction of expectations about what the rule of law means -- is something quite different altogether, and it really is submission to Party rule."
"What is described in China as the rule of law is more, in fact, the rule by law -- in other words, the use of formal rules, statutes, institutions, and so on to carry out policies."
"[China's rule of law] is nothing more than an instrument for carrying out Party purposes."
Pitman Potter, professor, University of British Columbia A. Allard School of Law

"In that context it seems to me that it's very difficult for the government to approve the Aecon acquisition without incurring significant risk to national security."
"[It would] certainly not be my recommendation [to permit the deal to move forward]."
"It will not make them [proposed Chinese buyer] anything other than an opaque entity operated entirely in accordance with the goals of the state of China."
Ward Elcock, former director, Canadian Security Intelligence Service

"It's not aiming [Chinese take-overs] at profit but market share -- particularly in developed countries."
"We could harm ourselves if we insist on opening our doors wide to a state who does not believe in the private property rights and free market system, but is using its SOEs [state-owned enterprises] in the disguise of commercial entities."
Duanjie Chen, senior fellow, Macdonald-Laurier Institute think tank
China Communications Construction Co. proposed to buy the Canadian construction firm Aecon late in 2017.  Cole Burston/Bloomberg

The Trudeau government seemed fairly unperturbed that China may come into possession of a Canadian construction firm that would most certainly result in sensitive Canadian data being made available to the Chinese state. But there are warning signs everywhere that scream !caution! that the government doesn't seem inclined to notice. They did, months ago, accede to some level of concerns deciding to instigate an investigation to satisfy critics. Which include other Canadian construction companies claiming the takeover of Aecon by the China Communications Construction Co. would imperil locals in bidding on contracts.

The Liberal government of Justin Trudeau is anxious to sign off on a free trade deal with China, cognizant that should the Aecon deal not go in China's favour that elusive free trade deal that Trudeau thought his trade experts in consultation with their Chinese counterparts had all wrapped up and just needed his signature on a trip to China found himself in an embarrassing situation when the Chinese declined to forward that free trade agreement to a conclusion during that trip and Trudeau returned home empty-handed.

Not a very auspicious conclusion to an agreement that was considered to be a wrap, particularly when he had just returned from a high-echelon Trans-Pacific Trade mission when all the other countries concerned were prepared to take the agreement to the signing table and Trudeau decided at the last moment in conversation with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, that Canada had second thoughts, which situation enraged his other TPP counterparts.

Prime Minister Trudeau's next huge international success was his visit to India, where among trade discussions he distinguished himself playing Mr. Dress-up with his adorable family posing in Bollywood get-ups, amazing in their garish costuming to Indians who had no doubt thought that the Canadian sunny-ways Prime Minister was a doltish clown. And then matters turned a little more serious when his entourage suddenly entertained a Sikh-Canadian who had once been found guilty of attempted murder of an Indian cabinet minister while visiting Canada.

So, should it be decided that the China Communications Construction Co., aka an arm of the Chinese Communist Party, not be allowed to take over Aecon in a $1.5-billion deal, there would be consequences, with China convinced that it was being treated differently in foreign take-overs in Canada than other countries' industries investing in Canada. Of course, other nations do not view their corporations as being answerable to their governments as China does.

Developed nations of the world of which Canada is one, alongside Australia, the United Kingdom and others have accused China of influence peddling and political bribery. Centrally owned enterprises have of late rapidly developed their itineraries in acquiring overseas assets. In the 1990s those Chinese investments abroad were valued at $79 billion. Currently, their value has swelled to over $900 billion, in service to China's interests in controlling markets.

It is a growth that fits neatly into China's global influence, with its Belt and Road initiative, expanding the means by which the vast nation with its impressively huge manufacturing facilities can deliver products globally, by its expansion of road, rail and sea infrastructure elsewhere in the world, linking to China. China's geopolitical manoeuvring is fairly transparent at this point. Aecon itself has defended the proposed takeover, pointing out that the construction sector in Canada is inundated as it is by foreign conglomerates from Europe, the U.S., South Korea and elsewhere.

Which may be true, but certainly not representative of the whole picture, since none of those countries seek to further their trade futures and geopolitical influence through monopolization of the world order in production and trade as does China. Experts pointing out that Chinese state-owned enterprises' function is to service the Communist Party of China; they are in fact compelled by Chinese law to surrender any idea of autonomy to the Chinese government.

In 2011, CCCC had been barred, as a result of charges of fraudulent practices, from bidding on any World Bank-backed road or bridge projects.

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