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Tories under fire for congratulating Communist Party of China 13

July 10, 2011

By ,Parliamentary Bureau

First posted: Friday, July 8, 2011 2:08:44 EDT PM

OTTAWA  - The fury over a congratulatory letter the federal Conservative Party sent to the Communist Party of China (CPC) for its 90th anniversary just won't go away.
The Canada Tibet Committee has jumped into the fray, calling on the Tories to retract the letter that expressed appreciation for the CPC and looked forward to the future relationship between the two parties.
"The Conservative Party under former leaders would have shuddered at the thought of sending a similar letter to the National Party of South Africa while that regime practiced its repressive policies of apartheid," said committee executive director Dermod Travis in a statement. "Someone at today's Conservative HQ should be wise enough to appreciate that the CPC regime - which only maintains power through military oppression - doesn't deserve congratulations, but rebuke."
The Chinese Canadian National Council has also weighed in.
"We would not send a letter like this," said Victor Wong, the council's executive director, but he suggested it was up to Tories to decide for themselves whether the controversial letter was appropriate.
He added opinion among Canadians of Chinese origin is divided.
"There would be some who are concerned about the human rights abuses," said Wong. "Others have business ties and they want a positive relationship, and still others are perhaps a little more patriotic and they're proud of the achievements of their motherland."
Letter writer John Walsh and other Conservatives have steadfastly refused to comment on their party's warm wishes to Chinese communists.
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