Hey look: Harper’s five-year plan

by Paul Wells

My expanded, reported column from this week’s print edition takes a few guesses about how China fits into Stephen Harper’s plans to secure another election victory and lay the groundwork for a political legacy:

Before he went to China, Harper talked this trip up for two months, in a series of TV interviews and then in a speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos. It was fair to wonder what the fuss was about. But the triple play he’s attempting here is worth some fuss. A significant boost to Canadian exports. A legacy-making rebuttal to the policies that made him angry enough to get into politics as a young man. And a head start on winning a fourth straight election. If he can pull it all off, it will have been worth a little jet lag.

More here.




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Hey look: Harper’s five-year plan

  1. “A legacy-making rebuttal …. ”

    Trade with China means we support people like  Zhang Xide so they can suppress people like Yao Fuxin and Chen Guangcheng. Harper’s legacy is going to create even more wealth for tyrants, which enables them improve and expand their authoritarianism, in order to get back at socialist Trudeau. Terrific. 

    Washington Post book review ~ Out Of Mao’s Shadow:

    From 2001 to 2007, Pan was The Washington Post’s bureau chief in Beijing. The 10 or so intersecting stories he tells here are gritty and real. This is not a big-theme book about the “true” China but a concrete, closely observed encounter with particular people, places and events. He puts the reader on a stool in the small shop of laid-off steel worker Yao Fuxin as Yao and some colleagues plot a doomed demonstration against corrupt local officials in the rust-belt city of Liaoyang. 

    We run through cornfields with blind activist Chen Guangcheng as he escapes from government thugs in his home village, hoping to carry a petition for justice all the way to Beijing. Other protagonists include a land developer, an army doctor, a local party secretary, a crusading editor and a passel of feuding “rights protection” lawyers (as they call themselves). 

    Yet some big truths emerge. Local government omnipotence and corruption are a toxic combination, personified in Pan’s book by Zhang Xide, the party secretary of Linquan County. He presided over the violent repression of a peasant revolt against coercive birth-control methods and illegal taxes. And what is wonderfully revealing about today’s China is that he was proud of his achievement!

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