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Canada is waking up to China's quest for a 'new world order', says Japanese observer – CBC.ca

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One of Japan’s top academics says China is trying to create its own new world order — and leading Western democracies, Canada included, have started to look at their relationship with the rising superpower through that lens.

For the last several years, Junya Nishino’s research has been focused on his country’s relationship with South and North Korea. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s outbursts gave him plenty to work on.

But it has been hard for the demure, precise professor of political science to ignore an increasingly assertive Beijing, its provocative actions and the amount of time and political energy being expended by Japan’s leaders on the China relationship.

While acknowledging China is an “indispensable” economic power for his country and Western nations, Nishino said the policy of engagement based solely on trade and business interests has failed.

A ‘very different’ regime

“We have to keep in mind that China is a very different regime,” he told CBC News in a recent interview. “China is not a democratic country. China is an authoritarian system. So we always need to pay close attention.”

Since the 1990s, Western countries — with Canada in the vanguard — have pursued a policy of helping Beijing build up an affluent middle class through liberalized trade and investment, in the long-term hope that it would lead to a more democratic country.

Over the last several years, however, it has become apparent, in a variety of ways, that the Chinese leadership has no interest in moving in that direction.

Western nations would be wise to tread carefully in their relationship with China, says Japanese political scientist Junya Nishino. (CBC News)

China’s President Xi Jinping, with the full support of his party, rewrote the country’s constitution in March 2018 and scrapped term limits, essentially allowing him to stay in office for life.

The surprise move came as Beijing pressed claims over the South China Sea, built up its military and launched a global infrastructure plan known as the Belt and Road Initiative.

The country also drastically enhanced domestic security and enforced ideological purity standards in schools and the media.

Warning signs

At the same conference that extended his grip on power, Xi told Chinese lawmakers and political advisers that his country’s brand of authoritarian capitalism is a “new type of political party system” that would benefit the rest of the world.

“From the Japanese perspective, clearly, China is trying to create its own new order, not only in East Asia, but the world,” said Nishino.

A year ago, writing in the Qiushi Journal, the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) main theoretical magazine, Xi insisted that his country “must never copy the models or practices of other countries.”

Western-style separation of powers — the bedrock of democratic institutions — held no appeal for China, Xi wrote, arguing that the party must remain supreme.

“We must never follow the path of Western ‘constitutionalism,’ ‘separation of powers’ or ‘judicial independence,”’ Xi wrote.

Those sentiments made Nishino and other China-watchers sit up and take notice.

The West grows wary

“We and China have very different values and we need to keep this in mind,” said Nishino, who has been speaking Canadian officials and audiences over the past week.

After an initial flurry of interest among Europeans in the Belt and Road Initiative, he said, there now seems to be a wariness among Western countries — and they’d do well to avoid the plan.

During President Barack Obama’s second term, the U.S. recognized that China had changed and began to take a harder line. Such an approach is more difficult for Japan to take because of geography.

Relations between Tokyo and Beijing run hot and cold, thanks in large part to tension over eight uninhabited islands — little more than hunks of rock — in the East China Sea.

Both countries lay claim to the islands, which are known as the Diaoyu islands in China and as the Senkaku islands in Japan.

But China remains Japan’s most important trading and economic partner and the business communities in both countries have tried to keep a positive and constructive relationship going.

The challenge of keeping that constructive relationship alive is more intense in Japan than it is in Canada, but the problems facing both countries are not dissimilar. China is deeply embedded in the supply chains of Western democracies.

And there lies the problem shared by Canada and Japan, Nishino said. Japan has been trying to strike a balance between a tough security policy and a healthy trading relationship. The Trump administration can afford to be bellicose and fight a trade war with China. Canada and Japan cannot.

Japan has been working hard to find a way to “co-exist” with China without being pushed around, Nishino said.

What’s left unanswered — especially in light of Beijing’s hostage diplomacy over Canada’s detention and possible extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou — is how difficult co-existence will be going forward.

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Quebec’s first presumptive case of coronavirus detected

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Quebec’s first presumptive case of the coronavirus has been detected in a woman who recently returned from a trip to Iran, according to the provincial health minister.

The woman took a plane from Iran to Qatar before arriving at the Montreal airport on Monday, Health Minister Danielle McCann said Thursday evening at an impromptu news conference.

She immediately went to an outpatient clinic in the Montreal region with minor symptoms and was quickly given a mask upon entering, McCann said.

The patient was then put in isolation at a nearby hospital where the proper infection-control measures were “very well implemented,” McCann said.

Health workers had no significant risk of exposure, said McCann, who declined to specify exactly where the medical facilities are located.

She said medical professionals are confident the patient had “limited contact” with others and that the infection-control methods were effective. However, health officials are still investigating who the patient may have come into contact with at the clinic and is monitoring everybody involved for signs of the virus.

“The detection of this case shows that our system is efficient, it is reliable and that the management protocol is well established,” the minister said.

“All the measures that are necessary to protect the population, to protect the workers and take care of the patients, if it occurs, are there.”

A diagnosis is considered presumptive until confirmed by the National Microbiology Lab (NML) in Winnipeg. McCann said those results are expected Sunday.

McCann said the woman did not take public transit to get to the clinic, and hadn’t gone back to work since returning from Iran. She is now in isolation at home for “a period of time and she is doing fine,” the minister said.

There are currently 21 other possible cases under investigation in the province.

“There is no need to worry,” said McCann. “The risk remains low.”

The ministry said a probable case of COVID-19 is determined by several factors, including a body temperature of more than 38 C and meeting COVID-19 exposure criteria.

The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a global health emergency. More than 81,000 cases of the coronavirus have been detected since it emerged in the Hubei province of China last year.

In Canada, there are currently 13 confirmed cases, with the latest reported this morning.

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‘Support them or lose them’: Chinatowns across Canada grapple with coronavirus fears – Global News

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Most of Calgary’s city councillors had lunch at a restaurant in Chinatown this week to try to help reduce fears about the new coronavirus.

Businesses in Chinatowns across Canada have reported a drop in activity since COVID-19 hit China in January and started to spread around the world.

At Ho Wan Restaurant in Calgary, the owners’ son, Jason Zhang, says business is down about 70 per cent.

“People are not coming out very much,” he said in an interview. “It was the slowest Family Day I’ve seen.


READ MORE:
Going on vacation amid the coronavirus outbreak? Here’s what to know

“It’s hard to predict when people come out … but, in general, especially during the regular times, it’s just a percentage shock.”

Coun. Druh Farrell, whose ward includes Chinatown, said council members went to the restaurant for lunch to show Calgarians it’s safe to eat out.

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“Business in Chinatown is way down — in some restaurants 70 to 80 per cent,” she said.

“It’s a dreadful burden on the businesses, so we wanted to show our support and encourage Calgarians to stand behind their local businesses, especially in Chinatown.”

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There have been no cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, but there are 12 confirmed cases in Ontario and British Columbia. Around the world, about 81,000 people have become ill with the virus. The World Health Organization is reporting cases in 37 countries outside China.






1:48
Calgary city council steps out for lunch, stops in Chinatown to support hurting businesses


Calgary city council steps out for lunch, stops in Chinatown to support hurting businesses

Concerns about a decline in visitors have been reported in Chinatowns across North America.

In the United States, there’s a campaign in New York to “Show Some Love for Chinatown.” Food crawls have been arranged to help Chicago’s Chinatown and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited San Francisco’s Chinatown District on Monday to try to quell fears.

Chinatown businesses in Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto have all reported a decline in customers.

Alex Wang, who runs the Peninsula Seafood Restaurant in Vancouver, told Global News he has seen business drop more than 70 per cent and is worried the restaurant won’t be able to survive longer than three months.


READ MORE:
Countries take dramatic steps to contain new virus that ‘doesn’t respect borders’

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In Edmonton, the chairwoman of the Chinatown and Area Business Association said there’s been a noticeable decline in activity this winter.

“There’s a general fear out there with the coronavirus,” said Holly Mah.

Some of that drop, she said, could be related to the generally slower winter season and Alberta’s sluggish economy.

Toronto’s Chinatown has also noticed a decline in customers.

“It’s a concern,” said Tonny Louie, chairman of the Chinatown Business Improvement Area. “People, in the back of their minds, they still wonder what will be next. This virus … is pretty hard to contain.”






3:29
Coronavirus fears fueling racism


Coronavirus fears fueling racism

He said business has picked up in the last couple of weeks, but noted streets were quiet after the first patient was admitted to hospital in Toronto.

“It was completely desolate for a week and a half,” he said. “No cars at all. And there’s all kinds of parking spots in Chinatown, so that means people were not coming in.”

Louie said some people have started to return, but there’s a dip every time there’s bad news.

“Not a lot of facts are known,” he said. “So far, they haven’t been able to identify a vaccine or a cure for it, other than go home and get rested up and isolate yourself and wash your hands.”

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Louie said the group will be handing out hand sanitizer and dispensers to all businesses to help ease fears.


READ MORE:
Is Canada ready for a widespread coronavirus outbreak? Yes and no, experts say

“Right now, the only possibility that they are talking about catching it is with hand touching and contact, so we can solve that problem at least.”

Back in Alberta, health officials reminded people Wednesday to take precautions.

“Practice good infection prevention habits,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, said in Edmonton. “Protect others by staying home when you are sick and covering coughs and sneezes.

Hinshaw said the risk in Alberta remains low and there is no need to stay home or avoid public places.

Farrell said she will continue to tell people about her favourite spots in Calgary.

“Chinatown is filled with family-owned restaurants and we need to support them or lose them,” she said.

“It is a treasured community.”

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Premier Kenney stops in Calgary’s Chinatown to discuss coronavirus concerns


Premier Kenney stops in Calgary’s Chinatown to discuss coronavirus concerns

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Canada will not pay for Prince Harry and Meghan's security after March – CBC.ca

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Canada has been providing RCMP security to Prince Harry and Meghan since November, Public Safety Canada has confirmed to CBC News, after weeks of speculation about whether Canadians would have to pay for the couple’s security bills while they are in this country.

But the Government of Canada intends to cease contributing to those costs “in the coming weeks,” says the office of Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex cease their activities as working members of the Royal Family on March 31.

A statement to CBC News Thursday morning reads in full:

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex choosing to relocate to Canada on a part-time basis presented our government with a unique and unprecedented set of circumstances. The RCMP has been engaged with officials in the U.K. from the very beginning regarding security considerations.

“As the Duke and Duchess are currently recognized as Internationally Protected Persons, Canada has an obligation to provide security assistance on an as-needed basis. At the request of the Metropolitan Police, the RCMP has been providing assistance to the Met since the arrival of the Duke and Duchess to Canada intermittently since November 2019. The assistance will cease in the coming weeks, in keeping with their change in status.”

CBC News had been asking the government to reveal the arrangement under which Harry and Meghan have relocated to Canada.

British media, citing British sources, said that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had already given the U.K. a commitment that the Canadian government will contribute to the costs.

But Trudeau had never confirmed that. 

Trudeau told Global TV on Jan. 13 that the Canadian government had not really been involved in any negotiations around the couple’s new arrangements.

Prince Harry and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak prior to the official launch of the Invictus Games in Toronto in 2017. During official visits to Canada, Harry’s security has been provided by the RCMP and paid for by the federal government. (Canadian Press)

“We haven’t, up until this point, not in any real way. But there will be many discussions to come on how that works … that will go about between officials at different levels,” he told Global TV.

Trudeau and other government officials had cited the need to keep security arrangements confidential as a reason not to disclose the arrangements made for Harry and Meghan. He had also said that discussions had not yet concluded. 

When asked about it at a cabinet retreat in Winnipeg on Jan. 21, shortly after the couple confirmed their plan to move to Canada, Trudeau replied: “I have not spoken to her majesty directly…. Discussions continue to be ongoing and I have no updates at this moment.”

In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Feb. 9, Trudeau said: “I don’t comment on operational details, but there are long-standing protocols in place that are being followed.”

It now appears the discussions have concluded with an outcome that leaves the question of security at the door of the couple themselves, and of the British government and Metropolitan Police that have always been charged with their protection.

By cutting off the famous couple “in the coming weeks,” the Trudeau government avoids taking on a deeply unpopular financial burden.

Polls by Leger and the Angus Reid Institute have found that only about one in five Canadians believe it is an appropriate use of tax money to pay for the couple’s security arrangements.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation delivered a petition to the Prime Minister’s Office with 80,000 signatures on it insisting that Canadian taxpayer money not be diverted to them.

Public Safety’s reference to the government’s legal obligation to provide security to what are called Internationally Protected Persons describes a group that includes visiting diplomats, dignitaries and functionaries of other governments who are in Canada on an official visit.

Harry and Meghan arrived in Canada as full working members of the Royal Family on a temporary visit, and the RCMP has always provided security for those visits, with taxpayers picking up the bill.

By the time Trudeau spoke in Munich earlier this month, much had changed. Harry and Meghan had announced their plans to leave their royal roles behind. Under an agreement reached with Buckingham Palace, they will officially end their royal duties on March 31.

The question of who will pick up the tab for the couple’s security after March 31 is far from settled.

The British media in recent days has been full of stories citing anonymous Metropolitan Police sources complaining about the strain the couple’s move has put on the force.

Security experts, including retired Met police protection officers, have estimated that the cost of protecting the couple in their new life could fall in the range of $10 million to $30 million a year.

On the heels of a ‘Sandringham Summit’ on Megxit, Queen Elizabeth says Harry and Meghan will spend time in Canada and the U.K. during a period of ‘transition’ and that the Royal family is ‘entirely supportive’ of the couple’s desire to live a more independent life. 4:01

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