I'd first like to thank the committee for offering me this opportunity to share a few thoughts with you on various issues of Canada's engagement in Asia. Today I will focus particularly on the absence of the rule of law in China and its declining attention in China.
When we look at the rule of law in China, I think we should first think about the indicators of how any fealty to the rule of law has declined significantly over the past few years. The place we want to start is to remember that when we as Canadians hear the term “the rule of law”, we conjure in our minds particular expectations about protection of citizens' rights, limitations on government action, and so on.
I would just remind everyone that this is absolutely not the rule of law that is established in China, where the regime is quite careful to use the term “the socialist rule of law”. Indeed, what is described in China as the rule of law is more likely or more in fact to be the rule by law; in other words, the use of formal rules, statutes, institutions, and so on to carry out policy. I think it's important to have a bit of that interpretive correction at the very beginning.
What I'd like to now do is focus on two examples, the first being the supremacy of party dominance by the Communist Party of China, an example of which is the repression of lawyers in China; and finally I will just comment on the recent constitutional amendment. Then I'll move on to implications for Canada and what to do.
Party dominance over the legal system in China has been well entrenched for the entirety of the PRC's existence, but in the post-1978, post-Mao period, it was entrenched in the constitution under the rubric of the so-called “four basic principles”, the most important of which was submission to party leadership.
We might think that something that was incorporated in the state constitution in 1982 would have somehow become diluted with age, but that is most assuredly not the case. Whenever there is discussion of the constitution in China, the four basic principles are brought out once again to remind all that the constitution and the legal system are subject to a governing principle of submission to party authority.
More recently we have seen a number of examples that have entrenched this perspective. In 2013, we saw the issuance by the party of what was called “document number 9”. Document number 9 attacked various activities considered unhealthy in China, including promoting western-style constitutional democracy, promoting civil society, promoting a free press. Document number 9 called for ideological leadership to resist western values and western ideas and incorporated the so-called “seven not-to-be-spoken-ofs”, the seven issues that were not to be talked about. They included freedom of the press, civil society, civil rights, and so on. Judicial independence is another.
As recently as 2013, then, there was an effort to make this ideological rigour clear. Then in 2014 came the fourth plenum of the 18th central committee of the Communist Party. It was called the “rule of law plenum”, but indeed, it just reaffirmed that law in China must adhere to the directives of the Chinese Communist Party.
We saw examples of this in 2015 when the politburo received reports on the work of party cells or party leadership groups within the courts, within the legislature, within the prosecutorial departments, and we saw an edict in May 2015 on establishing so-called “dang zu”—the party unit—in all non-governmental units. We thus see an expansion of party dominance and party control.
In 2016, China issued a white paper on judicial reform, and that white paper included a re-emphasis on the dominance of the party and the principle of submission to party rule, and it explicitly rejected the notion of judicial independence, preferring instead the term “impartiality”. Then most recently, this year—and there are probably many other examples, these being just the ones I'm sharing with you—there was the establishment of a national supervisory commission to oversee government and state-owned sectors.
This was essentially an extension of the Central commission for Discipline Inspection, which is a party discipline and anti-corruption mechanism, further across the government, including into judicial institutions. It was referred to as “turning the party's will into law”.
These are many examples of how law in China, despite the term “rule of law” and the deliberate attraction of expectations about what the rule of law means, is something quite different altogether. It really is submission to party rule.
A point in example of this is the repression of lawyers in China that has been going on vigorously since 2015. This is consistent with both the rules of the All China Lawyers Association that purportedly governs the behaviour of lawyers, which requires that lawyers support party leadership, and the PRC lawyer law, which also requires lawyers to uphold party leadership.
The criminal law and the criminal procedure law were recently amended to prohibit and provide punishments for provision of so-called false evidence. This was intended to discourage use by lawyers of exculpatory evidence, again under the direction of the party.
Then, what they call the “709” crackdown—so labelled for July 9, 2015—which has been going on since, is active repression, detention, and punishment of lawyers for taking positions that local party officials didn't like. Hundreds have been detained. There have been reports of torture, of forced medication, denial of access to family and legal counsel, the imposition of residential surveillance over homes and families, persecution of family members, and so on. This has been going on vigorously for the past several years. Most of these lawyers are not taking on particularly sensitive national government corruption or malfeasance issues, but rather pursing the rights of marginalized people, such as labour rights, environment, women's rights, pensions, and so on. This is yet another example of how law and legal institutions in China are being bent to the will of the party.
Perhaps the most recent example and the one that most people are very familiar with is the amendment of the constitution to remove term limits on Xi Jinping's rule. Here was another example of the party's use of a legal form to further its own goals. The result is that the constitution provides no meaningful restraint on party behaviour. This rather epitomizes the absence of the rule of law in China.
When I think about the implications of this for Canada, it's important to note that this is not simply a domestic matter. It affects China's treaty compliance. China's respect for its own law covers over to its respect for international treaties on such matters as human rights, ethnic minorities, and trade. The absence of the rule of law in China, then, affects all aspects of Canada's relations with China.
Global governance, wherever we pursue collaboration on climate matters, conflict resolution, or development, still depends on China's commitment to the rule of law in treaty compliance. Canada-China legal co-operation on things such as enforcement of arbitral awards, extradition, and so on still depend on China's commitments with regard to its own legal behaviour, whether on death penalty procedures or other criminal procedures. Here again, the absence of the rule of law impinges upon that.
Another example is cultural and educational exchanges. University links, for example, or cultural links and performances and so on, depend similarly on adherence to the rule of law, which we have not seen in China, seeing rather adherence to party fealty—party whim, if you will.
Finally, trade relations are absolutely affected. We've seen in the last eight months or so refusal to accept notions of progressive trade policy; that was last December. We've seen more recently, in April, the absolute rejection of labour provisions in a free trade agreement. We see these further examples in the international realm of China's approach to law as being nothing more than an instrument for carrying out party purposes. This tells you how the regime will consider legal standards with regard to institutions and personnel in its relations with Canada. It's not simply a domestic issue.
I'd like to take half a minute to ask what we do about this. It's a difficult situation. I think what I presented this morning is by no means parochial or one-sided; I think it's pretty well established and documented by me and by many other people.
Non-engagement is just not an option. China is China. China is important; its economy is huge; its reach is significant.
I would counsel what I counsel clients who are working in China, which is first, patience: patience on concluding transactions and treaties. Consider whose interest is being served and why the rush. Be patient to allow for situations in China to evolve and perhaps improve.
Then, preparation: know the rules. For example, when Xi Jingping, at the Boao conference not long ago, talked about protecting the legal rights of foreign investors, we may be comforted by that reference to legal rights but it's incumbent on us to understand what it actually means in a Chinese context, and it means something very different from what it means in ours. It means whatever the party wants it to mean.
Then finally is perseverance. Things change, things develop, things can get better, things can get worse, and so on, and so it's to persevere with our commitment to engagement with China but subject it to what I would call consistent and polite firmness in our engagement—purposeful ambiguity, finessing of issues, and so on.
I would say, then, that engaging with China, which has largely abandoned a rule of law as that concept is understood by us in the West, requires patience, preparation, and perseverance, and I hope that those will allow us to engage with this very difficult party on the other side of the Pacific.
Thank you very much.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak to the committee as you continue your deliberations and as you get ready for a trip to Korea, Japan, and the Philippines.
I'm going to take a slightly different cut into the matter of Canada's engagement, by moving it from some of our bilateral issues alone into the context of the changing geostrategic context. I think we're in a moment where this is not business as usual in Asia and Asia-Pacific. It is a moment of power shift. It's a moment of strategic turbulence, uncertainties about some of the premises of a regional order that have largely been in place for two or three generations.
Let me talk about two disturbing factors, or two factors that are shaking the situation up, a little bit about Asian reactions, and prescriptions then for Canada. The key point, and I agree with Professor Potter, is that we are now dealing with Xi Jinping's China, which is on a somewhat different trajectory than the People's Republic as we saw it in the Deng Xiaoping era.
This is a new era with new characteristics, not just in terms of the scale, size, and ambition of many of the economic projects, the growth figures—that's something I'm sure the committee is very familiar with—but I think there are a couple of other things in play in Xi Jinping's era. One of those is domestic repression. China is not moving forward on political and human rights. There is every sign that in fact it is tightening. This represents the party strengthening its control, not only over Chinese citizens but also over the state apparatus itself, the government.
Related is that we have a more assertive China internationally, in its region, but also globally. Chinese diplomacy is more self-confident and moving in forceful ways. I don't mean militarily forceful, but in some new ways to define and defend its core interests. I think a phrase we can accurately now use is that China, in many ways, is behaving like a great power. It might have some distinctive characteristics to what a great power is, but its intentions, its role, are changing.
At the same time, China is also becoming a key global player. In the issues we are all facing— climate change, peacekeeping, from a Canadian side, counterterrorism—the new era of Xi Jinping's China involves a bigger global role. I think we have to, as a result, see areas within that where we have common interests and concerns.
I take a little more positive view of Xi Jinping's China on its compliance with treaties and activities that it has already agreed to. It is not perfect, but superpowers rarely are.
We're dealing with a new China, but we all have to see that we're also dealing with a new United States. Asians certainly realize that. The unpredictability of Donald Trump's “America first” is shaking the region. While the United States continues strong and visible support for its alliances and its military role, it is inconsistent on trade policy; it is inconsistent on what it is promoting in terms of human rights and democratic governance principles. It has negative and very little support for multilateral institutions in the region.
I think, more importantly, there is deep doubt about the future of American leadership in the region. America isn't disappearing from Asia, but it seems to be positioned in a spot that is now contested for primacy—contested by China—and is deeply disturbing and shaking its friends, allies, and opponents in the region, not just because of Donald Trump, but because of a feeling that America may be stepping back irreversibly from the kinds of roles it has played in the past.
America isn't disappearing, but America is not going to play the primary role going forward.
The reactions to those twin forces are much bigger than Asia, but in Asia—as you'll be seeing—there is an arms buildup under way. Most countries are increasing their defence spending considerably. There is a repositioning—not the abandonment of alliances, but a reshaping of those alliances and a starting to hedge on different futures in which China is going to be more important.
Also, there is deeper economic integration and connectivity. It's been fascinating how Asian countries—most of them—have been pushing very hard in recent months for new kinds of multilateral trade agreements. Japan's interest in the trans-Pacific partnership is just one indicator of that, as is the intensification in the intra-Asian projects.
I would say that in general terms the Asian reactions to this changing geostrategic setting are a fear of further deterioration in U.S.-China relations. Those countries don't want to have to make a China choice any more than Australia or Canada does. However, in general there is a view that history is tilting against the United States and toward China in power terms, at least in this chapter, and that is causing a lot of rethinking.
On perceptions of Canada, I'd suggest that we are mainly seen by almost all of the key players in Asia as reactive, on the sidelines, playing on the margins. We garner very little attention, except in occasional negativity. In east Asia and Southeast Asia, I am asked over and over again what Canada thinks, what its interests are, and what its strategy is in this new “business not as normal” environment.
Let me conclude with three suggestions for how we start answering some of those questions, and your investigations can be a part of this.
First, we need an Asia strategy, and China has to be the central component of that Asia strategy. We need to work with ASEAN and fellow middle powers in trying to reassert and strengthen, wherever we can, multilateralism and the elements of rule of law, as we see them, taking into account what “rule of law” means—as Professor Potter mentions—but also how we're going to have to make some adjustments and accommodation to a new balance of forces. In terms of our bilateral relationship with China, our government is going to have to create a new narrative of living with China, rather than expecting to change China or thinking that economic openness will produce political liberalization. China, for the moment—and likely into the future—is on a different path.
With China we have to find out how to co-operate where we can and must on common global issues. On peacekeeping, climate change, and a range of other things, we have no option except to try to work with China, and on balance they can be a constructive force.
Part of an Asia strategy is deeper commercial relations along the lines we have been discussing with other witnesses.
I want to add another element, and that is providing new assurances to Canada and Canadians about the protection of our values, institutions, and strategic industries at home. China is a global player. It is on our doorsteps in ways that are positive in many respects, but we're facing some new threats. Public opinion polling we've been doing recently sees these concerns about Canadian values and institutions being challenged by elements of Chinese power. It's something Canadians know. When we look at takeovers of Canadian companies, acquisitions, and investments, I think we have to be able to give new assurances to Canadians that these things are in our interests.
A second general prescription is to double down on bilateral and multilateral FTAs. We do it not only because there will be an immediate commercial value to the country but also because we have to be part of the new intra-Asian game that is unfolding. That is going to involve the trans-Pacific partnership and, I think, framing our progressive agenda with a little bit more precision than we have so far, and in attractive ways, on matters including labour and gender.
Finally, let me speak about opening North Korea. You're going at an extraordinary moment. For the first time in a generation there may be an open window for Canada to reintroduce itself into northeast Asian questions, and not just around maximization of pressure on North Korea, or diplomacy. We may have an opening to deepen humanitarian assistance, educational exchanges, and capacity building in North Korea.
We're not there yet; the moment is not right for us to introduce specific actions. Your committee, however, could in Korea come up with some very useful ideas, when that sun shines a little bit brighter, on what we can do, and start preparing for it now.
Thank you very much for inviting me today as you prepare the second half of your fact-finding mission in support of your study of Canada's engagement in Asia.
My main area of focus in political science is Canada-China relations. I've also published studies on the domestic and foreign policies of China and North Korea, and I served twice at the Canadian embassy in Beijing.
With so much going on between China and the United States and North Korea in recent weeks, the timing of your mission comes on the cusp of what could be game-changing transformation of the geostrategic dynamic of the North Asia region. This potentially has very far-reaching consequences for the domestic and international politics of our allies Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines.
I have two points.
The first point is that the ongoing successive imposition of tariffs and other restrictive measures on China by the Government of the United States is eliciting accelerating reciprocal responses by the Government of the People's Republic of China that will likely prove disruptive to the global economy and to us. This trade dispute, I would say, has at its source much more fundamental concerns about the incompatibility of China's political economy and global ambitions with those of Canada and like-minded nations, including today's Japan and South Korea. That's to say that Canada adheres to the principles of liberal democracy, principles that we as Canadians maintain have universal meaning as the rights entitled to all people everywhere. These liberal democratic principles inform the domestic and international institutions that shape Canada's politics and foreign policy.
Unfortunately, as the two previous speakers alluded to, in recent years the current Government of China has explicitly rejected liberal democratic ideals as unsuited to China. China maintains that these are not universal values, but rather that liberal democracy is at odds with its interpretation of Chinese history and culture, and that the west uses liberal democratic discourse and the institutions that we've developed to support a liberal global order to challenge China's rise to power.
China is confident that the U.S.-led alliance that is so central to Canada, Japan, and South Korea's international identity is heading to collapse and that China will eventually emerge as the new global hegemon. Indeed, China proposes a new global order under China's own rubric called “a community of common destiny for mankind”. China's president has put forward that this “community of common destiny for mankind” is a new type of international relations. The Chinese Communist Party's newspaper, the People's Daily, says that the “community of common destiny for mankind” framework is superior to western mainstream international relations theory, pushing China to become the world's unassailable economic and cultural leader by the year 2050.
As you pointed out, human rights and multilateral co-operation have no part in the Chinese president's plans for world dominance. The incompatibility of China's political economy and global ambitions with those of Canada and like-minded nations, including Japan and South Korea, expresses itself in China's relations with Canada, South Korea, and Japan today. Certainly, there are a lot of things about China that we're unhappy about. There are the Chinese state firms purloining Canadian intellectual property through cyber-espionage and the transfer of Canadian-developed technologies by theft or coercion. There is the Chinese lack of respect for the fair play trade reciprocity of the WTO by its imposition of tariff and non-tariff barriers, including arbitrary imposition of restrictive regulations and taxes to inhibit foreign competition in the Chinese market. These are all concerns that are shared by Canada, South Korea, the Philippines, and Japan.
The Chinese government's attempts to influence foreign policy-makers through covert, coercive, or corrupt means are also an increasing concern of these four governments.
The question is, to what extent can China be expected to respond to the U.S.'s successive application of economic pressure and end its unfair trade and investment practices and the use of Chinese state firms to achieve China's larger longer-term foreign policy ambitions?
For your upcoming mission to Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the Philippines, an issue to explore would be, if the trade war between China and the United States intensifies, can Canada coordinate our policy response with Korea, Japan, and the Philippines? If there is consensus on a coordinated and effective response by us and our like-minded allies, what form should this response take?
My second point is shorter. The governments of the United States and South Korea are now simultaneously diplomatically engaging the Government of North Korea with a renewed vigour that holds forth the prospect of a formal end to the Korean War, of which Canada is a party, as you know, and the possibility of normalization of diplomatic relations between North Korea and the United States.
Where this will lead is uncertain. If Mr. Trump were to meet with Kim Jong-un, the Korean dictator, and the negotiations fail, what is the next diplomatic option if the top guys have already decided it's not working?
If this process leads to a rapprochement of some kind, it opens the question of how Canada should respond. We already have diplomatic relations with North Korea, but presently we have no embassy in that country, or programming in North Korea. Our interests are represented by the Swedish embassy in Pyongyang. Under what conditions would Canada send an ambassador to North Korea? What sort of developmental aid program would we initiate in that impoverished regime if the United States becomes active in North Korea, the war ends, and Canada feels that we should fulfill our Canadian foreign policy objectives there?
The reconstruction of North Korea, which today is largely a devastated country, has enormous potential for Canadian trade and investment and business. As Canadians, we would also hope to engage in good governance, human rights, and democratic development programming there, identifying potential agents of democratic political change, assisting to strengthen the rule of law, and so on.
Here again, strong coordination between Canada, South Korea, and Japan on how we should respond to and support the current initiatives to engage with North Korea, now and for future political and economic engagement of North Korea, would be something important to explore in the course of your mission to Korea, Japan, and the Philippines.
Bon voyage. I very much look forward to reading the report of your findings after you return to Canada.
Thank you, honourable members.
I'm here to speak about the human rights situation in Tibet. As all of you know, there have been 152 cases of self-immolation so far, which is the only evidence that speaks to the situation in Tibet itself. No one really wants to self-immolate, but it's not the number—152—it's the people who are self-immolating. That speaks to the dire situation in Tibet in everything: human rights, including religious freedom and access, movement, and daily life inside Tibet.
Tibet has become a police state. Literally, there have been restrictions on everything, including Tibetan language. Although you'll find all these ethnic minority rights and freedoms in the Chinese constitution, but actually there's been nothing lately, if you talk about freedom for the Tibetan language and religious freedom. Leading up to March 10, 2018, the Chinese government announced 22 points; three were considered reactionary. One is that speaking your mother tongue is an important way of keeping your identity, and another is about the middle way approach.
One person who spoke about the Tibetan language situation, Mr. Tashi Wangchuk, is still under detention. Some court cases were done in January 2018, but the verdict is still not issued. Arbitrary cases of arrest, torture, and detention are rampant. One person, Dhondup Wangchen, was captured by the Chinese government for making a film Leaving Fear Behind during the Olympic Games and imprisoned for six years. Recently he was able to escape from mainland China and Tibet, and he's now based in the San Francisco Bay area. According to him, the situation in prison is horrible and political prisoners are tortured a great deal. He is now with his family members, but he undergoes trauma every now and then.
As for the religious situation, a lot of people know about the Yarchen Gar, Larung Gar cases where there's a huge destruction of the monasteries. Almost 50% of the monasteries have been destroyed. Before there were more than 4,800. More than 4,500 monks and nuns having been expelled from Larung and Yarchen Gar because they do not want them to continue in the monastery. When the monks and nuns were expelled, they were even told to sign a bond that says they will not come back to the monastery. That is the dire situation inside Tibet.
Also now, as we all know, any religious institution—a monastery, temple, or church—is normally governed by the people in the religious order, but Yarchen Gar is now managed by 200 Chinese of the party cadre, who do not believe in religion and know nothing about what is being taught in the monastery. Now it's totally under the Chinese persons, the party persons, which is unacceptable.
Therefore, the situation in Tibet is terrible right now. It's dire and needs immediate help. In fact, the Freedom House has said that Tibet, in terms of freedom, is second to Syria. The Washington Post recently mentioned that Tibet is more difficult in terms of access for journalists than North Korea.
Gentlemen, that sums up the situation in Tibet.
Okay, great. Thank you.
In Xi Jinping's initiation of a “China dream”, 2049 will be the year China will rise to the status of a superpower, so China's ambition is to become the world's superpower in 2045.
In the last 25 years, the Chinese authority has silently infiltrated major Western democracies, including Australia, Canada, and the U.S. Australia has been a testing ground for China's soft power, which has proved a great success. The evidence of China's massive infiltration into Australia has been presented in the book called, Silent Invasion: China's Influence in Australia, written by Professor Clive Hamilton, who interviewed me prior to its writing. It is almost too late for Australia to defend itself against China's interference, given the difficulty the Australian government has experienced recently in introducing legislation on the foreign influence transparency scheme.
In the eyes of the Chinese authority, Canada has a similar position to Australia. The only difference would be the geographical difference. Both countries are seen as a weak link in Western democracy where China can snatch high tech and exert influence. Both are rich in natural resources, and both have a huge immigration intake and implement a firm multicultural policy and anti-discrimination laws. Canada's mineral resources, energy, timber, medicine, high tech, and nuclear power technology are badly needed in China. When the U.S. imposes any restriction on high-tech export to China, Canada is the alternative source of supply.
China has exercised its overall diplomacy on Canada since the 1989 Tiananmen for democracy movement, and Canada has played a big role in China's global strategy. Canada was the first Western country to decouple its human rights policy from its trade policy, and the breakthrough instrumentally helped China to secure MFN status from the U.S. Of course, the appeasement of Western countries has helped China join the WTO without completely fulfilling its obligations. That enables China's economy to really benefit from free trade without making the slightest move towards democracy.
Thank you for inviting me.
On the general subject of Canada's engagement in Asia, I want to focus on something specific, Canada's engagement with China. Even within that subject, I want to address something particular—the form engagement by Canada with China should take in light of the evidence of organ transplant abuse in China.
I know some of you are familiar with that evidence, but allow me to say a few words. David Kilgour and I concluded almost 12 years ago that the bulk of organs for transplant in China were being sourced from practitioners of the spiritually based set of exercises, Falun Gong, a Chinese equivalent of yoga. The Falun Gong practitioners were killed through organ extraction and their bodies cremated.
Since we released our report, the evidence has accumulated, and other researchers have engaged the issue. Ethan Gutmann, a journalist who wrote a book on that subject, David Kilgour, and I concluded in a joint update to our work released in June 2016 that the volume of transplants in China was up to 100,000 a year and that the bulk of the sources were prisoners of conscience: Tibetans, Uyghurs, house Christians—mostly Eastern Lightning—and practitioners of Falun Gong. The abuse is a black market with an unusual feature. It is institutionalized, state run.
The evidence of this abuse by now is overwhelming—hundreds of pages, thousands of footnotes, several books, the footnotes mostly from Chinese state sources, and several documentaries. No interested researcher who has gone through the material has questioned our conclusions.
The Government of China does not want to talk about this abuse. They respond with bluster and bafflegab. They produce a wide variety of denials and accusations, but do not in reality engage the issue.
The mass killing of prisoners of conscience for their organs cannot just be put to one side. We in Canada cannot say to Chinese officials that we disagree with them about the evidence of the mass killing of innocents for their organs, but let's talk about something else.
Engagement with China calls for engagement on this issue. Engagement on this issue has several facets. Charles Burton, whom you just heard from, has done a study on the futility of the Canada-China bilateral human rights dialogue. Canada needs to return to multilateral institutions to raise human rights issues about China rather than rely on that dialogue.
Your subcommittee on international human rights endorsed a couple of useful statements on this issue in November 2013 and February 2015. The statements addressed engagement in two ways. First, both statements called on medical and scientific professional and regulatory bodies to name, shame, and ostracize individuals, institutions, and their affiliates involved in the forced harvesting and trafficking of human organs. Second, both statements called on the Government of Canada to consider ways to discourage and prevent Canadians from taking part in transplant tourism, where the organs have not been obtained in an ethical, safe, and transparent fashion. I agree with both of these statements, but more needs to be done.
Right now there's an active debate within the international transplant profession about whether to engage or ostracize the Chinese transplant profession in light of the Chinese official opacity about transplantation and the overwhelming evidence of continuing transplant abuse. I support ostracism, as your subcommittee did, because engagement removes the lever of peer pressure, which historically—when there has been ostracism—has had an impact. The Government of Canada should be supporting the voices for ostracism as the subcommittee did.
As for discouraging transplant tourism, the Government of Canada can do a lot more than it has done. It can introduce into Parliament legislation already proposed as private members' bills in different parliaments by Borys Wrzesnewskyj, whom I'm pleased to see here, Irwin Cotler, and Garnett Genuis. That bill would make complicity in organ transplant abuse an extra-territorial crime, ban entry to Canada of those complicit in this abuse, and make reporting to the authorities by health professionals of transplant tourism compulsory.
More generally, the Government of Canada should call on the Government of China to co-operate with an independent, institution-based international investigation on organ transplant abuse in China.
This investigation, were it to take place, must be able to visit businesses and hospitals unannounced and view original prison and hospital files. That sort of request has been made by the United Nations Committee Against Torture, the United States House of Representatives, and the European Parliament. Given the widespread support for this investigation, there's no reason why Canada cannot join the chorus.
One facet of organ transplant abuse in China is the almost complete absence of information about this abuse within China. Engagement with China on this issue cannot be shifted only to health professionals and those engaged with human rights. There should be widespread discussions with Chinese nationals generally on this issue.
Canada can take advantage of engagement with China to break through the shroud that covers this issue. Ultimately, as we've heard, change in China has to come from within China. However, it is impossible to expect to end transplant abuse in China when the only Chinese who know about it are those complicit in it. Engagement is an opportunity to spread the pool of knowledge beyond the perpetrators.
Engagement cannot mean disengagement. We cannot both engage with China and disengage on the issue of Chinese organ transplant abuse. If we are going to engage, we must engage consistently.