Canadian Prime Minister: Won’t Sell Out on Human Rights in Exchange for Trade with China

Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper said on November 15th, 2006 that Canada won't "sell out" on human rights to promote trade and investment with China. The Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister pointed out that on the same day that Canada hopes that enhancing relations with China is not only to obtain benefits, and Canada will not back off on human rights. Harper’s remarks came on Wednesday after the Chinese government abruptly canceled a private meeting between Harper and Hu Jintao during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference (APEC) in Vietnam.

According to CTV.CA, on Wednesday, before Harper was to leave for Vietnam, he said that he did not think that Canadians would want the government to sell out important Canadian values in exchange for economic benefits, even if this means the cancelation of a meeting with Hu Jintao.

CTV.CA continued to say: Prime Minister Harper told reporters on the plane, "I think Canadians want us to promote our trade relations worldwide, and we will do that, but I don't think Canadians want us to sell out important Canadian values -- our belief in democracy, freedom, human rights."

Harper stated, "I don’t think we have done something unusual. This only promotes Canadian values and interests." He said, "There's always a balance to these things."

The report said that Tory MP's were also among the most vocal critics of religious persecution in China -- in particular the treatment of members of the Falun Gong faith. [Editors note: Falun Gong is not a religion. It is a system to cultivate both mind and body]

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