Chairman Harper’s Weakness, Recklessly blind to ruthless aims of China’s state-owned firms, PM treats them as any free market investors

Chairman Harper’s Weakness, Recklessly blind to ruthless aims of China’s state-owned firms, PM treats them as any free market investors by Andrew Nikiforuk, November 13, 2012,
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says it’s just another trade deal with an emerging economy, and that prosperity hides behind the great dragon’s capital investments. But as every Beijing propagandist knows, the best lies are always the biggest ones. … China’s true economic warriors are largely 100 State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) that practice “authoritarian capitalism.” These complex organizations perform for China Inc and dutifully obey the dictates of the Party. They don’t care about human rights and aren’t shy about dealing with unethical rulers or failing states either. They offer little if any transparency. They don’t like unions. They control half of China’s GDP and grow in strength everyday. Period. … Chinese capital doesn’t play by ordinary markets and certainly won’t behave like U.S. dollars. Wherever the Chinese SOEs invest, they largely employ Chinese workers. These companies don’t tolerate dissent. They say one thing to the public and do another behind closed doors. Nor do they invest in the local community. They work first and foremost for China Inc.

Now such a dramatic change in capital investment would obviously deliver some dragon-size economic, cultural, political and environmental impacts for Canada. But not according to Harper’s gang. Its willingness to ratify such a significant agreement without provincial, aboriginal or parliamentary consultation makes Harper’s government look a lot like the Communist Party. China’s politburo doesn’t allow public debate on their trade agreements. So let’s be clear about the potential scale of Harper’s economic treason (and that’s what it is) as well as his government’s profligate stupidity. The FIPPA treaty abets and supports investments from a one party state that actively manipulates its currency to provide unfair advantages for its exports. In fact most economists argue that the Chinese yuan (pegged to the U.S. dollar) is undervalued by as much as 20 per cent. Yet Harper approves. The FIPPA treaty abets and supports a regime that does not entertain democratic rights or the rule of law. In China the state relentlessly silences dissent, picks economic winners and enriches the compliant status quo. And it has operated this way for centuries.

China’s SOEs include its three large national oil companies: Sinopec, CNOOC and Petro China. Sinopec is larger than ExxonMobil. All three firms have been involved in human rights scandals and environmental abuses abroad as well as deep corruption at home. Yet Harper’s ethical oil office can’t wait to do business with them. … The Chinese, of course, don’t work that way. Unlike Harper they have an energy strategy and its national oil companies spearhead that party-directed strategy. And unlike Canada’s witless Tories they also think 50 to 100 years down the road. As disciples of Sun Tzu, they typically prefer doing business with short-term fools. … In Beijing party cadres no doubt are now gloating. They have found a weak leader in Canada who sells without negotiating, governs without consulting and rules without thinking. Given FIPPA’s imminent approval, China’s State-Owned Enterprises appear to have won a victory without even fighting a battle in Canada.  And all thanks to Chairman Harper. [Emphasis added]

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