Better the elephant we know

For anyone who is a history buff, it’s quite scary watching world leaders fawn over the brutal leaders and supposed capitalist of Communist China. Unfortunately, this is neither the first time nor will it be the last where capitalists and governments from democratic countries are prepared to make a deal with the devil for the almighty dollar.
Oh how excited we were when Russia turned to capitalism and free elections. North American and European businesses couldn’t get in fast enough to make money. And tragically, but usual when the free market takes over a former communist country, all state assets quickly move into the hands of a few select members and friends of the former Proletariat.
Today Russia is controlled by ex-KGB Putin, elections are a farce, most Russians are living in poverty and there is an insanely wealthy few. Even more disturbing, Russia is back to its former role as a dangerous aggressor in Europe and the Middle East.
We, as citizens of the free world, have been brainwashed into believing that capitalism and democracy are one and the same.
They’re not.
Capitalism is an economic model and democracy is a political ideology. Capitalism doesn’t bring the poor out of poverty. Capitalism doesn’t bring peace. Capitalism doesn’t bring human rights. Capitalism can operate just fine under communism, a dictatorship or a monarchy.
This past week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Communist China enthusiastically talking about free trade agreements and membership in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Sure China has a market economy today but it’s in the same vain as Russia. The “free enterprise” part of China is completely controlled by a few upper echelon members or friends of the Communist Party.  These repugnantly rich guys got the lion share of all the state assets for virtually nothing. Their wealth and influence is solely dependent on being agents of the Communist Party brass. They are not businessmen as we understand a businessman in a democracy. Chinese elites know if they do not do the will of the Communist Party, they would instantly lose all their personal wealth, their freedoms and possibly their lives.
In the 1980s when Canada signed the free trade deal with the elephant next door it was between two nations who shared common values and each had well-established democracies and an educated public.
China is now an economic giant and is increasingly expanding its military presence throughout Asia. Today it is building a military base in Djibouti, a country in Africa near the Suez Canal, a major world shipping corridor.  It has purchased electricity assets on four continents. It has bought up Calgary-headquartered Nexen and wants to buy more oil sands companies in Canada.
It is building roads and railways along the old Silk Road to provide direct access between China and Europe. It has bought up vast tracks of agricultural lands throughout Africa.
Should we not be afraid that a country that locks up locals and foreigners for criticizing their government now wants Canada to become a member of their investment bank?  Do we really want to have our debt beholden to Communists?  Is it smart to give Communist-controlled corporations the ability to sue the Canadian government when they deem that our laws or public policies infringe on their right to earn profits?
We are between a rock and a hard place. China is now our second largest trading partner after the United States — $20 billion dollars per year, mostly in the form of raw materials. Canola makes up 15 per cent of the total. Canadian farmers can ill afford to lose that contract, but at the same time, China doesn’t play fair in the international market place.
China has been breaking international trading conventions for years by setting the yuan to give their businesses unfair trade advantages. Australia, who was one of the first to sign a trade deal with China, found out Communists have no qualms about imposing surprise rules to disadvantage Australian businesses and keep the trade balance in China’s favour.
We’ve hit reality—sustained economic growth to generate wealth means we now have to make deals with the devil. The United States was one kind of elephant. Unfortunately the Chinese elephant doesn’t share any of our values and beliefs and has only one goal—becoming the next world powerhouse and usurping America’s influence worldwide.
I’ve been asked, “Why do you call China, Communist China” all the time?  Because that’s what China is—a Communist country with a market economy. Too many Western multi-national corporations and democratic governments, desperate to do business with China, want you lulled into forgetting that our economic future is increasingly being moved under the indirect power of communism.
And that is very scary indeed!

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