Terry Glavin: The giant panda in the room — why the Trudeau Liberals don’t want to talk about China


Of the many obstacles that have been strategically placed in the path of the voting public’s comprehension of where the parties situate themselves in the federal election campaign that’s just now heading into its final lap around the track, there’s nothing quite so peculiar as the cordon sanitaire Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have been allowed to construct around any serious discussion of foreign policy. The Liberals are similarly counting on voters not to notice that what distinguishes their foreign policy is the thing that has caused the Chinese government and its network of diplomats and well-connected friends in Canada to be rather too obvious in their enthusiasm for a Liberal re-election. So enthusiastic, in fact, that they’re already coming close to violating Canadian laws intended to safeguard federal elections from foreign interference. It began on Aug. 25, when Chinese Ambassador Cong Peiwu, without explicitly naming him, insinuated that Erin O’Toole was placing his party’s “political interests” ahead of fruitful Canada-China relations.

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