Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Harper and China: It's a mechanism, not a dialogue

Oh, if only I were as educated and wise in the ways and nuance of international diplomacy and language as our esteemed foreign affairs minister,Peter MacKay Maxime Bernier David Emerson Lawrence Cannon.

Because I must admit, the distinction he's trying to draw here to explain how the Conservative reproachment with China on human rights is nothing at all like the Liberal policy his government roundly attacked as morally hollow completly escapes me:

``What's important here is that both parties have decided to look at these issues as we move forward'' Cannon said ``so our people will engage with officials in the Chinese government in the very near future''

The Conservatives suspended the formal human rights talks between the two countries in 2006 after heavily criticizing the former Liberal government's centrepiece of policy engagement with China as being ineffective.

But Cannon insists this is not a resurrection of the Liberal program launched in 1997.

``I don't like using the word human rights dialogue'' he said ``I want to propose a mechanism whereby everybody will feel comfortable as we move forward. ''

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