Stephen Harper’sgovernment changes its tune
Stephen Harper 政府態度轉變
Jul 30th 2011 |OTTAWA | fromthe print edition
JOHNBAIRD, Canada’s foreign minister, insists there wasno hidden political hand behind his government’s deportation on July 23rd ofLai Changxing to Beijing, where he was promptly arrested on charges relating toa multi-billion dollar smuggling ring which acted there with apparent officialconnivance in the 1990s. The Chinese authorities have been pressing Canada tohand over Mr Lai since 1999. The decision to do so, says Mr Baird, was takenfreely by an independent judiciary “and we wouldn’t and couldn’t intervene.”
加拿大外交部長John Baird，堅持認為加拿大政府對賴昌星的遣返背后沒有政治操控。作為發生在九十年代的這場顯然得到官方默許的數十億美金走私大案的參與者，賴昌星7月23號一到北京就立即被捕。中國當局從1999年開始就開始為賴昌星遣返而向加拿大施壓。遣返的決定，Baird 先生說，是由法官獨立作出的，“我們不想也不能干預。”
On theface of things, that is true. The federal court order of July 21st capped along legal battle between Mr Lai and the immigration authorities that began inJune 2000, when Canada decided he was not a legitimate refugee and issued adeportation order. His deportation came only after he exhausted every avenue ofappeal, of which there were many.
But digdeeper and the hidden hand appears. Both the immigration official who lastreviewed the case and the judge based their decisions on assurances sought andreceived by the government that Mr Lai would not be tortured, subjected tocruel and unusual punishment or killed if he were sent back.
GivingChina the benefit of the doubt on human rights is a relative novelty forStephen Harper’s Conservative government. Shortly after he won office in 2006,Mr Harper pledged that Canada “would not sell out” in talking about humanrights with China. His first foreign minister accused China of industrialespionage. When Mr Harper visited China in 2009, his hosts chided him forwaiting almost four years before coming.
在人權問題上對中國讓步的做法對于Stephen Harper 保守派政府來說還是很新鮮。在2006年上臺之后不久， Harper就承諾加拿大對中國的人權問題“不會妥協”。他的第一任外交大臣曾指責中國的商業間諜。當Harper2009年訪問中國的時候，接待方曾責備他等了四年才來。