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Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Opposition parties vote to revive special committee as China-Russia go under the microscope 

OTTAWA (CU)_Back in 2019, a Canada-China special committee was established by the Canadian parliament, focusing on Beijing’s aggressive conduct in Hong Kong and the detention of two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, by the Chinese Communist Party. This was a type of committee which, unlike standing committees, does not revive automatically when parliament returns and therefore need to be specifically created by MPs. Now, as China close relations with Russia comes under global scrutiny, amid Moscow’s growing aggression in Ukraine, the opposition parties of Canada have voted to revive the high-profile special committee which studies Canada’s ties with China.

The motion, put forward by the Conservatives, attracted opposition from the Liberal cabinet and caucus, but was passed with the support of the NDP and Bloc Quebecois. The committee will be made up of 12 members, who will be tasked with scrutinising “all aspects of the Canada-People’s Republic of China relationship”, including economic, diplomatic, legal, security and consular relations.

The committee’s first meeting is expected to take place within one week following the submission of the final report by another special committee, which is currently carrying out an inquiry into Ottawa’s response to the Taliban seizing of Afghanistan.

At the moment, China is facing global scrutiny over its refusal to condemn Russia’s recent bloody invasion of Ukraine. The communist superpower has sought take a neutral stance on the matter as western allies strengthen their support to Kyiv, with military and financial aid and successive rounds of sanctions targeting Russian officials, individuals and entities.

“I would say that prior to a week ago, we were very concerned about China and in fact wondering if China would take the opportunity to accelerate their plans for greater control of their near abroad, specifically Taiwan,” the Canadian military’s defence intelligence chief, Maj.-Gen. Michael Wright, said. “I would hope that with the reaction of the international community, and specifically NATO and the West, that China would have pause for any of their authoritarian plans in the future.”

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