It’s all fun and games to laugh at the infamous statement Justin Trudeau made about basic dictatorships but if you are in Taiwan, there is a real problem.
Asked this week to stand up for Taiwan, the democratic China, Trudeau wouldn’t. Before we get into what happened this week, it is important to remember where Trudeau’s basic dictatorship comes from.
In November 2013, Trudeau was attending a Liberal fundraiser, billed as a ladies night with Justin. When asked by an audience member what country he admired most other than Canada, he stunned millions of Canadians.
There is a level of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime and say we need to go green, we need to start, you know, investing in solar. There is a flexibility that I know Stephen Harper must dream about: having a dictatorship where you can do whatever you wanted, that I find quite interesting.
Let that sink in.
Not only does he say he admires a dictatorship. Not only does he lie about China going green on a dime, they haven’t. He admits that being able to have, “a dictatorship where you can do whatever you wanted, that I find quite interesting.”
Trudeau is not a dictator and I wouldn’t accuse him of that, despite some tendencies he has. But when it comes to foreign policy, the prime minister has the full ability to change direction on a whim.
So why won’t he stand up for Taiwan?
Right now Taiwan is being blocked from attending an important meeting of the World Health Assembly. They attended for eight years starting in 2009 but now China is using its clout to have them blocked.
This isn’t new, China does whatever it can to undermine Taiwan which it claims as a renegade province. Truth is, this is where the government of the Republic of China fled to when the communists took the mainland. While there are problems with Taiwan, it has moved in the right direction and should be supported.
Questioned in the House.
Trudeau had a chance to send China a message this week. On Wednesday, the PM was asked about standing up for Taiwan by Conservative Foreign Affairs Critic Erin O’Toole.
Mr. Speaker, Taiwan is being blocked from participating in the World Health Assembly, which is meant to bring countries together to work on health issues. Fifteen years ago, Canada and Taiwan were on the front lines of the SARS crisis, and that shows why Taiwan should be a participant.
Will the Prime Minister show some global swagger and take a public position in support of Taiwan joining the World Health Assembly, or will he remain silent due to his admiration for basic dictatorships?
O’Toole’s reference to “swagger” was a nod to Trudeau, who the day before, told a business audience that Canadian businesses needed more “swagger.”
For someone who loves to preach that Canada is back on the world stage, Trudeau failed here. He could have used this opportunity to stand up for a democracy. Trudeau could have said that Canada backs Taiwan participating in international meetings like the WHA.
Instead what Trudeau did was avoid the meat of the question.
Mr. Speaker, it has come up a few times in this question period that the Conservatives seem to have an issue with the idea of swagger, the idea of Canadians being strong and proud on the world stage, of Canadians understanding that being back on the world stage, being positively engaged, being confident about our investments in AI, our investments in new technologies, and our investments in the economy of the future, are things to be proud of here in Canada.
No, we will not apologize for swaggering when it comes to talking about Canada and being confident in the future that we are building together.
Notice there was no mention of standing up to China’s bullying tactics? The Americans have done this over successive governments and continue to do so.
There was also no mention of the importance of the relationship with Taiwan.
If Trudeau really believed in swagger he would have said yes, Canada is back and that means standing with a democracy. He would have said China, and its basic dictatorship, does not run the whole world.
He did none of that.
What Trudeau did was duck and cover so that the people he sucks up to in Beijing won’t be mad. At least when Stephen Harper was accused of letting Israel run Canada’s foreign policy, it was a democracy.
Little Potato, as the Chinese apparently nicknamed Trudeau, won’t stand up to China. Trudeau has progressive voters angry that he won’t say boo to Trump, now he won’t say anything to upset Beijing.