The Dangers of Doing Business in China - Interview with Former Canadian MP David Kilgour-Part 2

added by delicate
The Dangers of Doing Business in China - Interview with Former Canadian MP David Kilgour-Part 2
  • Write Comments
  • Innappropiate
  • Feature This!

Video Information


Send PM
(829) | (0) | (0)
Added: 26-03-2012
Runtime: 7m 50s
Views: 981
Comments: 0

Login to Rate Video

Current Rating:
Not yet rated
(0 Votes)


[Shelley Zhang, NTD News]:/nWhat do you think in general about how Harper’s government has handled China relations?/n[David Kilgour, Former Canadian MP, Secretary of State Asia-Pacific]:/nWell, initially very well. He said he wasn’t going to sacrifice Canadian values for the almighty dollar. And unfortunately, I was doing that sort of thing from between 1997 to 2003, a lot of the people in the business community think that the promised land is in China, that you can make money in China, and a few businesses in Canada are making money in China. One of them, for example, built the railway to Tibet. Was that a good thing for Canada, to build a railway to Tibet so you can get tourists and the army into Tibet faster? I don’t think so./n [Shelley Zhang, NTD News]:/nOh, I didn’t realize that was a Canadian company./n[David Kilgour, Former Canadian MP, Secretary of State Asia-Pacific]:/nYeah, Bombardier, I think. But most people who go to China, they lose money. And I remember a number of years ago, a woman came to me and said that she and her husband had invested their entire life savings in a pharmaceutical business near Beijing, about $20 million. And the business operated fine for about two years. And then the mayor of the local city, who had run the plant before it was privatized, came along and said, “I want the plant back.” And before long it was padlocked./nThey lost every single penny of their investment. I went to the Canadian ambassador in China and said, “Can you help?” Couldn’t do a thing. The Chinese ambassador in Canada couldn’t do a thing. And my understanding is that most people invest in China lose money for all kinds of reasons./nOne example your viewers might find interesting is the case of McDonalds. McDonalds, the biggest company in the world, had a 20-year lease on their first restaurant in Beijing. I think it was after two years, Li Ka-shing came along and said that he wanted to develop that property. McDonalds was thrown out. Their lease was cancelled after two years. /nWell, if McDonalds has no protection on their lease, which one of us thinks that smaller businesses are going to have any protection. The rule of law doesn’t exist in China. As I’ve said many times, the courts are circuses. The decisions are made by a group of judges on a weekly basis. /nSo, if I won the lottery tomorrow, I think the last place on Earth I would invest the winnings would be in China. And I think that some people are starting to realize that this is a very, very poor place to invest in terms of, well, you saw the situation with Foxconn, where they were making iPhones and the like, and, was it ten people who jumped to their death from the Foxconn roof last year?/n[Shelley Zhang, NTD News]:/nIt was two years ago; the suicides, I think. What’s interesting about Foxconn is that it’s actually considered one of the better places to work. /n[David Kilgour, Former Canadian MP, Secretary of State Asia-Pacific]:/nWell, that’s a sad comment on China too, isn’t it? Maybe businesses in Canada and the US like getting their products from forced labor camps, where—the Free China film points out that all manner of goods are made in these work camps. /nCharles Lee, Dr. Charles Lee, from Harvard, was making these little slippers, which he said when he finally got out of prison, he discovered they were for sale in New Jersey. So, using an American citizen, under a forced-labor situation, to make products that are going to put Americans out of jobs, as I said before, for Christmastime. /nI’m not saying don’t do business with China, but let’s at the very least make sure we start enforcing some of the agreements that say, for example, that you can’t export forced-labor products to the United States or Canada. /n[Shelley Zhang, NTD News]:/nWhat advice would you give somebody who’s looking to go into China?/n[David Kilgour, Former Canadian MP, Secretary of State Asia-Pacific]:/nI wouldn’t go near China until the rule of law is established and there’s a democratic form of government. I would go lots of other places. I’d invest in India, I’d invest in Taiwan, I’d invest in all kinds of places in Asia. But I certainly wouldn’t invest—I wouldn’t invest a penny in China./n [Shelley Zhang, NTD News]:/nLet me go back and ask you another question about Harper. He said, actually at a roundtable last week, that while he was in China he brought up human rights in a conversation with Chinese leaders. He said specifically that he mentioned Falun Gong practitioners being arrested and persecuted. Now, do you think that has an impact? That those types of meetings with Chinese leaders have an impact?/n[David Kilgour, Former Canadian MP, Secretary of State Asia-Pacific]:/nWell, it, certainly, you should do it in private meetings, and I’m glad he did that. But you have to also do it in a public way. You have to do it in a speech to a university or something. You have to do it in statements in Canada. You have to make it clear that “naming and shaming” is the only thing the party-state in China listens to./nSo unless you say it publicly and openly, it’s not going to do any good. Having a little meeting with Hu Jintao or something, and telling him that he should stop abusing people—If it’s a private meeting, he just knows that you have to say it, and nobody’s going to hear it. And he’s certainly not going to tell anybody./nSo no, I think you have to say it. You have to name and shame Bo Xilai. Mr. Harper, in my view, should have mentioned Bo Xilai; I’m sure he didn’t. But you have to stand up. Look at Angela Merkel, who went in about a month ago. She tried to visit a prisoner of conscience./nWhat Christian Bale did was, I think, a very courageous and proper thing to do. You have to show the world that the regime in China is behaving like Nazi Germany. In many respects, not all, but in many respects. They value human life as being about the value of a matchstick. And you’ve got to say these things. /n[Shelley Zhang, NTD News]:/nDo you see any government doing that kind of thing?/n[David Kilgour, Former Canadian MP, Secretary of State Asia-Pacific]:/nWell, the Czech Republic is interesting. Vaclav Havel had the Dalai Lama come to Prague shortly after he became president. And everyone said, “Your business is going to suffer, you’re not going to do business with China, they’re going to cut you off of this, and cut you off of that. In fact, I’m told that Czechoslovakia, as it then was, their business didn’t suffer at all by giving recognition to the Dalai Lama. It’s all talk and nonsense./nNorway has—they are all kinds of examples. If you stand up on principle, you represent the values of your country and your people, at the same time, you can help people in China. I heard two people give evidence in our House of Commons about a week ago, both of whom said they were imprisoned for being Falun Gong, they were tortured./nAnd one of them said his life was saved because the House of Commons, the Parliament of Canada stood up and made a resolution that did it in an open and public way. If you do it under the table, sotto voce, nobody’s going to pay any attention to you./nSo you have to do things openly and stand up for your values, in conferences, and people will respect you. If you don’t, you’re just another government that doesn’t have the strength of its convictions./n

Video URL:

Embed URL