Sixty Percent Support Prime Minister's Policy on China

November 22, 2006 Updated: November 22, 2006

TORONTO—23,368 people participated in the poll on the Prime Minister of Canada's policy on China, of whom over sixty percent believe he adopted the right policy toward China at the Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation (APEC) Conference.

On November 16, the Globe and Mail, one of the three largest mainstream English newspapers in Canada, carried a poll on its website named “Do you believe Prime Minister Harper is taking the right approach in his dealings with China?” It attracted 23,368 people to the polls, 62 percent of whom stated they believe the Canadian Prime Minister made a correct move.

On November 15, because the Chinese Communist Party did not like the fact that Prime Minister Harper mentioned human rights issues in his talk with Hu Jintao, the meeting was cancelled. Later, the Prime Minister publicly gave a speech and expressed that, “I don't think Canadians want us to sell out important Canadian values—our belief in democracy, freedom, human rights.”

On November 18, the Toronto branch of the Global Alliance for Democracy and Peace made a declaration: “Prime Minister Harper showed that he would not sacrifice 'democracy, freedom, and human rights,' which are well respected and recognized values of Canadians, for the sake of exchanging business profits with China. The Global Alliance for Democracy and Peace (Toronto Branch) strongly supports his position.

“China is the second largest business partner of Canada. Canada and China's business relationship is compact and beneficial. However, as mentioned by Prime Minister Harper, Canada's position on international affairs mainly has to do with constructing a relationship that is active and respectful. However, mutual honesty and open communication should be maintained. Canada would like to discuss with China some economic issues in depth, as well as some political problems. When it comes down to the issue of human rights, especially when it involves the affairs of Canadian citizens', the buck stops here.

“Prime Minister Harper tries to be responsible in upholding Canada's traditions of diplomacy and 'human security.'” The declaration emphasized: “We don't want to treat economic trade with China as a deal with the devil. However we recognize and support Prime Minister Harper's position for respecting human rights and maintaining righteousness. We believe China will truly experience and observe international trends, follow them, and continue on the path toward openness and democracy.

“We are happy to see that some constructive common understanding has been reached. Through constructive dialog between Canada and China on human rights, the release of Canadian citizen Huseyin Celil was secured. Perhaps, together we will make specific contributions to world democracy and peace.”