THORNHILL, ON – The Hon. Peter Kent, Foreign Affairs critic for the Conservative Party of Canada, today issued the following statement:
“Yesterday Senator Yuen Pau Woo, who was appointed by Justin Trudeau, used his very first speech in the Senate to deliver a message not on behalf of Canadians, but on behalf of Beijing. It seems every week we hear new evidence of the cozy relationship the Liberal government has with the Chinese communist dictatorship. Now Liberals are using the Senate as a platform to undermine our allies and the foundation of international law.
“Governments like those in Beijing should be judged by their actions, not their duplicitous words. The Chinese military has undertaken an unwarranted and massive military build-up in the South China Sea. They are building artificial islands and hangars that are capable of basing fighter jets and long range bombers in the region. This is unacceptable, especially considering the South China Sea is one of the world’s most important trade routes.
“An arbitration court in the Hague ruled in July that China does not have historic rights to the South China Sea. This is a legally binding decision but regrettably, the Chinese government continues to ignore it.
“Beijing would love nothing more than for the world to forget its obligations to international law. This is why it is extremely unfortunate that Senator Woo yesterday said that ‘a dogmatic and trenchant insistence on international law could…be the very precipitant of conflict.’
“This is not the message Canada’s allies need to hear. Beijing must recognize the rights and freedoms of navigation that are enshrined in international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. They must also cease their military build-up in the region. This is the message the Liberal government should deliver to Beijing.
“Canadians should be rightfully concerned that Justin Trudeau has appointed an apologist for the Chinese dictatorship in the Senate, but they should not be surprised. After all, Trudeau did once say ‘There's a level of admiration I actually have for China. Their basic dictatorship is actually allowing them to turn their economy around on a dime.’
“While the Liberals spur our allies in favour of improved relations with one of the world’s worst human rights offenders, Conservatives will continue advocating for a principled foreign policy approach that first and foremost is based on freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.”
For more information:
Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition