Hang in there, Canada: China is LOSING its War Against the Rule of Law

The world is watching; and China’s expanding aggression under Xi Jin Ping is starting to cost it dearly.

And it is clearly losing face internationally as well!

Canada is not alone in being attacked by China: and we must not become the ones who surrender.

The arbitrary seizure and imprisonment of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, in retaliation for Canada’s enforcement of a legal seizure/extradition procedure initiated by the US is, understandably, a huge issue in our country.

But it is minor in comparison with other provocative, even violent actions taken by the Chinese government under Xi in recent weeks and months.

We all know how China has escalated its aggressive actions in the South China Sea , declaring unilateral control over international waters, building islands to literally “cement” its claims, reinforced with construction of military installations.

But there’s a lot more:

China has also escalated its menacing actions/claims for Japan’s Senakakus Islands (administered by Japan since 1972);

Under Xi, the Beijing dictatorship also has been pushing ongoing expansionist border claims/disputes with Nepal, Bhutan, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines  South Korea and even its ally, North Korea.

Last week, Chinese soldiers KILLED 20 Indian troops in a brawl that broke out on their Himalayan border: even beating some to death with rocks and clubs;

Also last week, Chinese jets buzzed Taiwan four times in four days;

And 22 countries have signed a statement to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights decrying China’s detention of at least one million Muslims in Xinjiang;

Not even the poorest of the poor countries of Africa, in the midst of their additional pain/suffering due to Covid-19 (and don’t get me started on China’s failings in that regard!) are exempt from China’s extortion. The “People’s Republic” is now squeezing many nations they provided loans to amidst pledges of support/friendship to the point of cruelty: demanding concessions to extend their debt repayments;

Just read what China is doing right now to exploit the increased poverty problems of Senegal during the pandemic: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/06/senegalese-worried-chinese-companies-fishing-licences-200625150513283.html ; and,

There’s also the sad, tragic saga unfolding in Hong Kong, where Xi has broken China’s word and signed international agreements and is moving to crush the island’s limited democratic freedoms, and enable the arrest of its bravest heroes to scoop them up and imprison them on the mainland.

China today is not a friend or ally or worthy of trust and respect by any nation/people who have even a modicum of principles or believe in the rule of law.

So our two Canadian hostages being held in appalling, cruel, despicable conditions by China are the RULE, not the exception, under Xi.

In fact, while Huawei CFO Meng Wan Zhou endures “house arrest” in her $11 million Vancouver mansion, the Chinese government holds its two Canadian hostages under harsh prison conditions and won’t even allow them to write home, get letters, speak to their families for months now or even receive visits/consultations from Canadian officials.

THAT is the NEW CHINA under Xi Jin Ping … and it’s quite ugly!

But Canada MUST NOT give in … even in the face of mounting internal pressure from family, friends and those calling for appeasement.

History has shown appeasement of tyrants/kidnappers/terrorists NEVER stops them: it just and rewards and encourages them … and others like them.

But hang in there, Canada! The world is pushing back at China’s bellicose behaviour!

It’s Belt and Road Infrastructure/Trade initiative, designed to expand China’s external connections/influence and economic expansion has lost a lot of its lustre … and has stalled literally in its tracks.

And other nations are striking back.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Friday the US would impose visa restrictions on Chinese Communist Party officials believed to be responsible for restricting freedoms in Hong Kong . (This move came four days after Pompeo also publicly urged China to release the two Canadians).

Chinese telecommunication equipment giant Huawei lost out to Nokia and Ericsson in building Singapore’s main 5G networks; the European Union has also expressed support for non-Huawei 5-G development; Japan’s top telecommunications company is investing $600 million to help a competitor take business away from Huawei; two major Canadian wireless companies, Telus and BCE, say they will build their 5G wireless networks with equipment from European providers, not Huawei; former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair says Britain should avoid Huawei having a key role in their 5-G development.

There will be MANY more of these announcements to come.

China’s aggression and bullying are proving to be a LOSING cause for not only the Chinese government but EVERY Chinese communications company, where technological security and exposure raise concerns.

I have no doubt China’s handling/linking/interference in the Meng Wan Zhou case and the seizure of the two Michaels will hurt Huawei and other Chinese firms for many, many years to come, with billions of dollars of implications for these companies.

But they should not be our only target.

Time for the Trudeau government to withdraw/cancel visas for officials/businesses/family members/students with any links to the Chinese government; time for authorities to ensure no laws here are being broken by embassy, consular or private agents working in Canada on China’s behalf; time for Canadian companies to seek alternative sources for imports from Chinese suppliers; time for Canadian universities/community groups/organizations to stop exchange programs with Chinese institutions, until the two Michaels are freed; and, time for all of us to start looking at products we purchase to see if an alternative is available and then, send a message to China by leaving their goods on the shelf.

And most of all, it’s time for us to realize how precious our rights/freedoms truly are and how we must not set them aside … even when the raging dragon takes our citizens hostage and snorts fire in our direction.

Happy Canada Day!

Harv Oberfeld

Posted in British Columbia, International, National | 17 Comments

Stanley Park: See What Life is Like Under the GREENS!

Every British Columbian even THINKING of voting GREEN in the next civic, provincial or federal should drive through Stanley Park.

Because I firmly believe, THIS is what the GREENS would do to the entire road system in Vancouver or other city or provincial or federal roadways and bridges … if ever given the power to do it!

Imagine full lanes shut down for bikes only on the Granville or Cambie Bridges (already done on Burrard); plus full traffic lanes in both directions for bikes only on Highway 99, including the Massey Tunnel; the same on Barnet Highway; and, YES, full traffic lanes in both directions on Highway 1, for bikes only, right to Abbotsford … maybe even Chilliwack … or????

And to hell with the backups, dangers, disruptions that would all cause for motorists, truckers … their lives and/or the economy.

Not possible? Take a look at the Vancouver Park Board, where GREENS/COPE control five of the seven elected seats.

Their governance style reminds me of the Ayatollahs: driven by ideology; fueled by fanaticism; and, oblivious to the pleas, positions and petitions of the public.

And Stanley Park shows exactly what life is like when GREENS get control.

I predicted it before …and I now believe it more than ever: the fix was “in” at a public meeting last Thursday to discuss the full opening of Stanley Park’s roadways, after thousands signed a petition and hundreds spoke out in support of that request.

They pointed to the harm the closure has done to the handicapped, the elderly, families, tourism, businesses and employed staff in the park and some even questioned the road closure’s legality.

No matter.

The Ayatollahs went ahead with THEIR plan for only a “partial” re-opening … and, adding to the farce they made of “public consultation”, the installation of thousands of road dividers to implement THEIR plan began soon after the meeting ended.

Now we can see the results of what the GREENS, with their COPE allies, have wrought on Stanley Park.

Ugly! Unwelcoming! Depressing! Dangerous! Nasty!

What the GREENS haver done is an insult to Mother Nature and the beauty that used to be Vancouver’s heritage gem: it looks more like a huge construction site or terrible accident scene… with NOTHING green or pleasant about it.

I drove through the park Tuesday morning: navigating the orange-coned obstacle course; concentrating hard on the many lane-shifting maneuvers needed and the several still-blocked roads and parking areas; trying to read/observe the complex and sometimes ludicrous (see below) traffic signs placed along the way; worried about traffic backing up behind me; all the while watching out for pedestrians at crosswalks, who seemed less intimidated by the cars … that stopped for them … but fearful of speeding cyclists, who did not!

Moving the cyclists from the seawall to the road has definitely made it much more dangerous for pedestrians trying to cross the road from the parking lots on the left, to the seawall and viewpoints on the right.

And not even the cyclists are served well by the Ayatollah’s opening up of a full cycling traffic lane around the park … while banning them from the seawall..

Did the Board forget there’s that huge 7% uphill grade on the road from Lumberman’s Arch to Prospect Point: the entire right lane is reserved for cyclists, but I only saw ONE cyclist even trying to do the very steep grind; others were walking their bikes up (resting on the way); or had turned away before the climb; or, maybe, shhh … reverted to the flat seawall, despite the Ayatollahs banning them from there.

And yet, halfway up the very steep hill, where most cyclists were struggling with walking, not riding … was that ludicrous Park Board road sign: “Slower Cyclists Keep Right”.

LOL! Who said bureaucrats have no sense of humour!

But what is still no joke is the remaining exclusionary/discriminatory treatment of those who use a vehicle to get around … the handicapped, the elderly, tourists, families.

The Park Board has still BLOCKED all vehicles from a truly iconic location in Stanley Park … Brockton Point: vehicles a forced to turn away at the cutoff before the point; CYCLISTS ONLY are given access to the Harry Jerome statue, the Nine O-Clock Gun, the Brockton Point Lighthouse and magnificent Burrard Inlet/North Vancouver/Burnaby viewpoints.

Crazy!

Once more, this is life under the GREEN Ayatollahs!

And that’s not all: also blocked … even though they enter and exit on the left, with NO impact on the cycling lane, are access/egress points to/from the North Shore. No reason I could see for that, other than nastiness.

The only way to exit is also through Georgia Street eastbound: all other vehicle exits are blocked.

Also still blocked … incredibly …are almost all the parking/access to Prospect Point viewpoint, the Cafe, the Teahouse.

How can they possibly operate/survive with so much of their parking eliminated? All that is missing is a green-shirted storm trooper standing in front … shooing away anyone who dares to try to enter/dine there!

This really is ideology gone mad! And the GREENS are responsible for it.

And there’s absolutely NO need for any of it. For 100 years, cars, bicyclists, unicyclists, pedestrians, hikers, joggers, skateboarders, tour buses, even horse-drawn trolleys have all shared the park … thanks to the seawall, the sidewalk and the roads all around and through it …. without a serious accident problem or injuries or disturbances.

Covid-19 is NOT a justifiable reason for what the Park Board is now inflicting on and dividing our citizens: it’s just the excuse to pursue their car-hating campaign.

This truly was a disturbing “visit” through Vancouver’s most famous icon.

I actually felt relieved when I got out, and then realized it had been such an unpleasant, dangerous driving experience, I had not actually noticed … let alone enjoyed … the actual park, its setting, the scenery!

But EVERY British Columbian should brave it … and take the drive if it’s within access.

The Stanley Park road mess is the first experience Vancouver, BC and Canada have of what life is like under actual GREEN government.

And it’s certainly not something I believe most would ever want to see expanded elsewhere.

Harv Oberfeld

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Posted in British Columbia | 42 Comments