Mark Collins – Canadian Government Getting Stealthy About Free Trade with China

Further to this post,

New Government’s Stealthy Diplomacy Promoting Sino-Canadian Relations

our Minister of International Trade (she tweets @cafreeland) dares not speak the name of a possible deal:

Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland takes slow approach to China

China wants a free trade deal with Canada. It’s no longer clear Canada wants the same, even as Ottawa and Beijing prepare for joint leaders’ meetings that might otherwise provide an ideal stage for a major announcement.

On Friday [July 8], Canadian International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland sat down with Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng in Shanghai, during Ms. Freeland’s first ministerial trip to China.

But in a subsequent 15-minute interview with The Globe and Mail in which she was repeatedly asked about the topic, Ms. Freeland never once used the words “free trade.”

She instead signalled Canada will move slowly when it comes to China – the world’s second-largest economy, but a country ruled by an authoritarian regime that jails critics [see ‘How Convenient: “Ontario minister Michael Chan defends China’s human-rights record”‘], heavily censors speech [see “The Dragon vs the Press: Covert (Canada); Overt (Hong Kong)“] and continues to detain a Canadian missionary on spying charges.

…asked about her unwillingness to use the words “free trade,” Ms. Freeland offered no comment.

“You can quote what I’ve said,” she replied.

One wonders if the good minister read the story by Terry Glavin on which this post was based:

China: “Everything you really need to know about the gluttonous vampires to whom Canadians so obligingly kowtow”

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

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