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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."


May 15, 2009

The Globe and Mail
May 14, 2009

Shanghai -- Canadians need to recognize that
China "has made progress" on human rights,
Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said yesterday,
a remark that seemed aimed at justifying the
Conservative government's recent efforts to improve ties with Beijing.

Speaking at the end of a four-day visit in which
he repeatedly sought to push disagreements on
issues such as Tibet into the past, Mr. Cannon
said Canada would continue to raise concerns over
China's human-rights record, but would do so more quietly and as a friend.

"You're much better working on the inside with
the Chinese leadership to get things done, than to be outside and criticizing."

Mr. Cannon said the new bilateral human-rights
mechanism that he discussed with Chinese Foreign
Minister Yang Jiechi this week would not resemble
former prime minister Jean Chrétien's
Canada-China Bilateral Human Rights Dialogue,
which was criticized for letting Canada complain
and China do nothing in response and was ditched
by the Tories shortly after they took office.
Print Edition - Section Front

Human-rights groups such as Amnesty International
have questioned whether resuming the dialogue will be any more effective.

Mr. Cannon said the main purpose of his visit was
to set the stage for a visit to China by Prime
Minister Stephen Harper in the near future,
though he said it was still premature to talk about when that might happen.

Mr. Harper, who previously vowed he would never
sacrifice Canada's human-rights values "to the
almighty dollar" in its relationship with China,
ruffled feathers here by deciding not to attend the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
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