The world is entering a new “Cold War” with China in the wake of the pandemic, says Conservative leadership candidate Erin OToole, and if Canada doesnt take a stronger stance against Beijing, it will remain vulnerable to the regimes misdeeds.
“The original Cold War was Soviet communism, and now its Chinese communism … but the characteristics of communism are always the same: Keep freedom down, keep religion down, keep information down,” he said in an interview.
“I think we need to push back,” added OToole, the Official Oppositions shadow minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development.
“We have to coordinate with our allies much, much closer on China so that we cannot be isolated. Beijing likes to isolate a country like they did with [Canada]—imprisoning our citizens, disrupting trade. The more they can isolate a country and use their size and their economic clout, thats what Beijing likes to do.”
OToole said Canadas hesitation to hold the Beijing regime to account on several issues, not just the pandemic, has put the country at increasing risk—from Chinas imprisonment of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, to retaliatory trade practices, to spying and exerting influence on Canadian institutions.
And as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to face growing criticism and international calls to investigate the origins and spread of the CCP virus, commonly referred to as the coronavirus, Canada has remained noticeably silent.
But of late, some signs have emerged signalling a change in tone from the federal government amid widespread condemnation of its hesitation to criticize the regime, as well as a sea change in public opinion. An Angus Reid poll published May 14 found that more than 85 percent of Canadians believe China lied about what it knew about the virus. Additionally, four in five Canadians polled want the government to check Chinas misconduct on domestic security issues.
Canada recently joined a coalition of over 120 countries to back a joint Australian and European Union push for an independent inquiry into the origins of the virus outbreak. Canada also signed a letter supporting Taiwans observer status at the World Health Assembly this week—a move that Beijing strongly opposes.
Backing the virus inquiry is essential for Canada and the world, said OToole, as Beijings coverup and apparent influence on international agencies like the World Health Organization (WHO) need to be addressed.
Currently, four of the U.N.s 15 specialized agencies are headed by Chinese nationals, and the WHO has been roundly criticized for putting lives at risk by adhering to Beijings narrative during the crucial early weeks of the virus outbreak.
“We have an economic catastrophe and a health pandemic globally in large ways that was fuelled and made much worse by the lack of transparency of the regime in Beijing, and their co-option of the World Health Organization and other agencies meant to prevent the pandemic,” said OToole.
“So it shows that if we let these problems linger, it can lead to serious global disruption down the road.”
A New Direction
As much of the world looks to reset its relationship with China, the key for Canadas strategy moving forward is to first recognize the true nature of the CCP as an authoritarian regime, said OToole.
“We have to deal with the Chinese regime in reaRead More – Source