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View Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay Profile
Mr. Speaker, it goes without saying that the issue of minority rights is extremely important.
China is not a democracy. We can all agree on that. There is no doubt about it, it is unequivocal, and I think it is clear to everyone. However, should our people suffer because of poor trade relations between the two countries? The answer, of course, is no. If there are human rights violations—which there are—they must be denounced.
However, the boycott approach has never worked in the past and it never does. Take, for example, the embargo against Cuba, which ended up strengthening rather than weakening the regime. Let us also remember that, during the boycott against Iraq, children were dying every month. The boycott approach is not a good thing in itself. In the case of a superpower like China, we would punish not only its people, but also ours.
If we truly want to set an example in our relations with dictatorships, we must also address our arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
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