Well, Jean, while China’s size is important, its systematic abuse of its citizens’ human rights is an issue that shouldn’t be ignored. Also, since you think size matters so much, you might have considered that the shear scale of China’s abuse would make bringing it up all the more important. And comparing this with meddling in the affairs of a Saskatchewan premier (who is not similarly abusing his citizens) is apples and pumpkins.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has short-sightedly risked relations with China by failing to attend the Olympic games and going overboard in honouring Tibet's Dalai Lama, former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien said Monday.
Mr. Chrétien said that Canada has to keep in mind that it is too small a global player to hector the Chinese or try to hurt them with boycotts. "It's 1.3-billion people, and I'm telling you that they are moving fast. You think that Canada is very important in the world? I remember when I was going to China ... the press saying: ' Mr. Chrétien, you have to tell the president of China to do this and do that.'
"Oh really?" Mr. Chrétien continued. "You want me to the tell the president of a country of 1.3 billion people you should do this and do that, but I don't dare to say what to do to the premier of Saskatchewan? You have to put things in perspective."
So, Canada is "too small a global player" and "at the bottom of the [influence] ladder" yet the his attendance at the Olympics would "mean so much". You can’t have it both ways, Jean.
Speaking to reporters afterward Mr. Chrétien continued his fusillade: "We are at the bottom of the ladder in terms of having any influence with China,"
... were he still prime minister, he "would not have hesitated for a second" to attend an Olympic games that obviously mean so much to Chinese national pride.
He specifically defended his own record as prime minister, saying ... "Some people who say I never mentioned human rights – they are completely wrong."C’mon, Jean, didn’t you just say: "Oh really?" ... "You want me to the tell the president of a country of 1.3 billion people you should do this and do that..."?
Anyway, isn’t it bad form for a former PM to publicly bad-mouth a sitting PM? JC, why don’t you just shut your pie hole!