Why is NDP China policy same as Conservatives?

Jenny Kwan & Jagmeet Singh

The NDP is supporting the intelligence agencies/arms industry/US empire faction of Canada’s ruling class that is stoking tensions with China. The historically left-wing party has amplified childish Conservative attacks, ignored the views of party backers and supported provocative naval missions.

The NDP responded to the Liberals’ special rapporteur on foreign interference report by amplifying Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre’s attacks against the former Governor General David Johnston. (When Stephen Harper appointed Johnson to lead a public inquiry in 2007 Poilievre called him “very credible” and “very qualified”.) The party presented a motion in the House of Commons urging Johnston to step aside as special rapporteur and Jagmeet Singh raised the issue repeatedly. The NDP leader personally questioned Johnston during a recent parliamentary committee hearing and has boasted they helped prompt the special rapporteur to resign.

The NDP is angry Johnston poured cold water on CSIS’ fear mongering over Chinese interference and rejected a call for a public inquiry. The party leadership has been aggressively pushing for an inquiry for months. Still, NDP backers are ambivalent, according to an Angus Reid poll released May 26. Asked “Which of the two statements below is closer to your own point of view regarding a formal public inquiry?” 39% of NDP supporters said “A public inquiry is NOT needed, it won’t tell us anything more” while 37% said “A public inquiry is needed, there’s more to learn.”

That’s distinct from Conservatives. Supporters of that party backed an inquiry by 6 to 1. For their part, Liberal voters were 2 to 1 against holding an inquiry. So, is the NDP strategy to peel off Conservative supporters with their push for an inquiry or is it just a matter of getting sympathetic coverage from a pro-US empire Canadian press?

Unless there are clear electoral gains, why would a social democratic party hype a theme that strengthens the credibility of odious intelligence agencies, deepens political cynicism and diverts attention from far more significant obstacles to true democracy. Canada’s first-past-the-post electoral system, concentration of wealth and corporate domination of the media are far more significant barriers to democracy than anything China is accused of doing.

When it comes to foreign interference US power is infinitely greater than China’s. In fact, there is a good argument to be made that the frenzy about Chinese interference is a manifestation of US interference. As part of its close ties to its US counterparts, CSIS is hyping Chinese interference just as they previously obsessed about Muslims to assist the US-led ‘war on terror’.

Alongside hyping Chinese interference, the NDP is part of US-backed groups paving the way for conflict. NDP MP Jenny Kwan recently launched Hong Kong Watch Canada with Conservative party deputy leader Melissa Lantsman, Irwin Cotler and other politicians. British Conservative MP Benedict Rogers established the international branch of that organization to oppose Chinese policy towards Hong Kong, which London used to penetrate China for a century.

NDP foreign affairs critic Heather McPherson is a member of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, which is an “international cross-party group of legislators” claiming “the rise of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as led by the Chinese Communist Party is a defining challenge for the world’s democratic states.” On its site the alliance says “IPAC is pleased to be funded by the following partners: The [George Soros controlled] Open Society Foundations. The [US government’s] National Endowment for Democracy. The [Taipei sponsored] Taiwan Foundation for Democracy.”

As part of her hawkish position McPherson has sought to undermine Canada’s one-China policy. She also explicitly backed Ottawa’s Indo Pacific Strategy, which calls for expanding Canadian naval vessels in the region.

Last Sunday Chinese naval vessels intercepted a Canadian and US warship traveling through the Taiwan Strait. Ottawa claims its vessels near Chinese territorial waters operate “in full accordance with international law”. But they ignore the fact the US hasn’t signed the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Two days earlier a US spy plane was “aggressively” intercepted by Chinese fighter jets. The increasing military action heightens the risk of a mistake that could lead to war.

US officials openly talk about war with China. Recently the commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral John Aquilino, told the National Committee on US-China Relations that the US was ready to win a war with China. Last week the Financial Times published a full-page article headlined “The US buildup in China’s backyard”, detailing what US strategists are calling the “tyranny of distance”, namely the distance between the US mainland and China.

Why is the US panicking about China?

The country’s remarkable economic rise threatens US hegemony. The Financial Times recently reported, “Chinese trade with Latin America has exploded this century from $12b in 2000 to $495bn in 2022, making China South America’s biggest trading partner.” Similarly, China is also the largest trade partner with many countries in Asia and Africa while its Belt and Road Initiative is deepening its economic influence. China is increasingly competing in leading technologies. Huawei is the world’s largest provider of 5G network and Chinese apps Temu, TikTok, SHEIN, and CapCut are among the hottest apps in the US.

Why is the NDP assisting the US bid to contain China’s economic rise and supporting military policies that could lead to an apocalyptic war?

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