by Richard Long,
The President of China – Hu Jintao is in Ottawa for special meetings ahead of the G8, G20 meetings today. We know many of you are praying about all the critical talks that will be going on through the next few days.
On Tuesday, David Akin, the new national bureau chief for Sun Media, had a special one-on-0ne interview with the Prime Minister, and among other things they touched on Canada’s relationship with China. I believe that this published interview gives us some key issues that we should be praying into as intercessors.
Here’s an excerpt of that interview below. You can read the whole interview here.
Please read this prayerfully …
AKIN: I want to touch again on China. You said you were encouraged by China’s decision on its currency because you saw that as a sign that China was taking “a global view”. How might that global view manifest itself in other areas. Perhaps China helping more with the situation in North Korea, in Iran?
HARPER: I go back to what I said in Davos. When it comes to the G20 and the global economy in particular, I’ve encouraged all countries to bring an attitude of enlightened sovereignty to the table, meaning, yes, we’re all capable of acting on our own but we should understand that in a global economy, if we act together, the results will be better for all of us than if we act individually. In fact, the International Monetary Fund has a report out showing exactly that, that if countries co-ordinate their policies across the G20, an act according to the global needs, we will all be better off. Whereas if we all follow our own individual dictates according to what we think the national read of the economy is the globe as a whole will be worse off. So that’s the attitude I’m encourage.
Look: China – the willingness to be more flexible with the exchange rate is an indicator of that but so too was China’s stimulus programs during this recession. China’s had massive stimulus, not dictated by the needs of the Chinese economy but dictated as much by the IMF’s and the G20’s call to increase global demand during the recession. In other forums, China has worked very closely with our allies in the Six Party Talks (on North Korea). Obviously we’d all like to see more pressure on North Korea but is North Korea the fault of China? I don’t think so in the end. China’s been co-operative in passing a new round of sanctions against Iran. Does China work as closely with our allies as I would like? No. But do I see signs that the Chinese are increasingly taking a global view. I see signs that that is happening and I’m encouraged by that.
AKIN: About the bilateral relationship between Canada and China – to preview your meeting this week with President Hu – give us a snapshot of how that relationship is going and what you’ll discuss.
HARPER: We had a good trip last year. We made commitments to proceed in a number of areas. I think as President Hu comes here on Thursday, I think we see progress on all of those things in a relatively short period of time so I think it’ll be a productive trip and I’m very optimistic. There’s been a bit of an adjustment, as you know. This government took somewhat of a broader view of our relationship with China that a range of issues had to be considered, including some of the concerns that Canada has about aspects of China’s policies. We’ve made that transition and I think this will be a very productive relationship with the country going forward.