To recap: We are currently having a disagreement with China about their treatment of a Canadian citizen. Harper - and here, I applaud him - has criticized the Chinese leadership for this. Fine. Harper has also muddied the waters about Taiwan - referring to it first as "an integral part" of China, then backing away from that language quickly.
Any idiot with a basic grasp of Chinese politics knows which issue Beijing takes more seriously: They'd like Harper to come out explicitly anti-Taipei, or at least shut the hell up. So they send a message by cancelling a meeting with Harper at the APEC summit in Vietnam, a meeting that is suddenly back on again.
So no harm, no foul, right? Wrong. Harper, between the meeting being cancelled and rescheduled, spouted off with this nonsense:
"I think Canadians want us to promote our trade relations worldwide, and we do that, but I don't think Canadians want us to sell out important Canadian values -- our belief in democracy, freedom, human rights," Harper told reporters during a Wednesday stopover in Anchorage, Alaska. "They don't want us to sell that out to the almighty dollar."Ah, the George W. Bush school of diplomacy: when something goes amiss, insult your partners. What a tool.
I would have ignored all this, except Conservative preppy Adam Daifallah praises Harper for this trash-talk, calling his own party "the party of human rights." So I guess that means that Harper is going to refuse to meet with Chinese leaders, even though the meeting is back on? After all, meeting with them now would be appeasement, wouldn't it?
BTW, funny you should mention the dollar, Steve-o. You see, the Chinese don't use the dollar, they use the Yuan (or Renminbi.) The people who actually do use the dollar are... the Americans, among others. Certainly, the phrase "almighty dollar" should properly refer to the US dollar, the most circulated currency on Earth. The United States is also our largest trading partner. If we're going to crow about our moral independence from commerce, it's against the US we should be measuring ourselves, not China.
So, how has Harper been doing defending the values of Canadians from abuses by the United States? Well, let's see: Sold out on softwood, won't stand up for Maher Arar and the other Canadians held illegally by the US, wants to bring American-style homophobia back in to Canadian law (we only just got it out!) and is deliberately sabotaging efforts to stop climate change. This is all in line with what the American government wants, and often what American business wants, and it's all unpopular and against Canadian values.
A lesser person might say we've sold out to the American dollar. I'd say you're wrong - Harper's not a whore. He's just so dumb he'd push this crap on us for free.