I was never a fan, largely because Jean Charest always appeared to delight in identifying as a liberal. But with headlines like this, today, he could be credibly accused of identifying as a Chinese, and of going after the Liberal Party leadership rather than that of the Conservative Party of Canada: “Charest advising Huawei in Meng Wanzhou case and on 5G networks”. Even the Liberals would have problems with his position, given that it’s largely adversarial to their own diplomatic and legal positions —as the Liberal government, of Canada.
But I never figured Charest — an erstwhile Canadian and someone who is reportedly considering a run for the Conservative Party leadership — as a Chinese Communist Party useful idiot. I do now.
Let’s get right to the greasy Peking Duck-meat of the issue:
“Former Quebec premier Jean Charest, who is contemplating a run for the Conservative Party leadership, has been acting as a consultant to Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in the Meng Wanzhou extradition case and the tech giant’s efforts to participate in Canada’s 5G wireless networks, a source says. …
“… A source said Mr. Charest and Mr. Wouters are providing strategic advice to Huawei. This includes intelligence and policy advice on understanding the extradition process facing Ms. Meng, the chief financial officer and daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei.
“They are also advising Huawei as it seeks approval to sell equipment for the construction of Canada’s 5G networks. …”
Perhaps Charest doesn’t know what the Conservative Party stands for. Or, you know, Canada. So there’s that. He then ordered another dish, Stir-Fried Commy, and he proceeded to chow-down on that:
“… Mr. Charest said it is important for Canada to seek closer ties with the fast-rising China. …”.
And this eggroll: “The former premier acknowledged during his remarks that “he has clients in China.””
Is he actually Chinese?
He wants closer ties? Last time I checked, every damn thing I buy in Canada is “Fabriqué en Chine.” As Jean Charest could attest, especially given that he is literally on their (Huawei —wink!) payroll, right here in what we thought was a whole separate country, “closer ties” could not be possible without us actually becoming a province of China. Our trade relationship is nearly all one-way (inward) of course, and it’s abysmally unfair, but Charest wants more of it.
Maybe Charest could also learn about the opioids entering Canada from his beloved China, killing scores of Canadians. Or the Chinese spying in Canada. Or their support of awful terrorist-supporting nations like Iran.
So no, that’s OK, I’m good with putting China (and its Huawei) on strict notice, as the USA is successfully doing. We should strengthen ties with the U.S., not China. We should join them in their efforts. Not China’s.
But no. There’s yummy Mu Shu Pork being served-up aboard the liberals’ popular anti-Trump bandwagon:
“Our policy toward China has been hijacked by Donald Trump,” Mr. Charest said.
Score! Pass the wontons. And by the way, hey! That’s exactly what the actual Chinese say!
And yet another dish gets brought to the table, even though we’re already full:
… “For us to be involved in an extradition case where Donald Trump tweets … days later: I am ready to drop the charges if I get a trade deal with China. You know, in the rest of the world, it doesn’t make Canada look very good,” Mr. Charest said. “That’s not the place where we want to be.” …
Apparently China is the place he wants to be, since he’s literally parroting the Chinese talking points.
Charest appears to have chosen to side with a human-rights-abusing Chinese communist dictatorship — which is more than bad enough — but also against our blood relatives, neighbors, and defenders, and the bastion of democracy and freedom, the United States. So yeah, I’m out.
The also-liberal “Conservative” Peter Mackay at least seems to know what countries to root for: “Mr. MacKay responded to Mr. Charest’s criticism of the United States by saying: ‘I’m picking a democracy every time when it comes to how we align ourselves, especially when our interests converge in our own backyard.’” Good retort. Alas, I’m not for him either (see the aforementioned “also-liberal.”)
Charest’s toast. Or fried rice, or whatever. Now… as a Liberal Party leadership contender? For sure. But if he does run for leader — of any party, here or in China — I’d check his funders very carefully.