Sunday, November 19, 2006

Did He Or Didn't He

After all the bravado and bluster about how the Harper was going to give it to the Chinese over human rights well did he or didn't he? Nope he got his Andy Warhol moment with the Chinese president and he did not discuss human rights. It was alot of hot air media hype for the Conservative supporters back home.

Harper had said previously that he hoped for a full bilateral meeting with the Chinese president, and said on his way to Hanoi that the Chinese had actually withdrawn an offer to meet. But Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told reporters earlier Sunday that they had never planned such a meeting. Hu met with at least six other leaders in the 30-to-60 minute one-on-ones. A Hong-Kong based reporter tried to ask Harper a question about being snubbed by China, but he walked away.

Harper himself was reluctant to discuss human rights issues he raised with Hu. "We spoke about 15 minutes, I certainly touched on a range of issues but obviously we only discussed a couple of issues in any detail. I made it clear there where I've made clear elsewhere, which is that Canada will in its relationships bring a range of concerns to the table." Jianchao said that while the two men discussed the case of Celil — whom China regards as one of its citizens — human rights issues were not discussed. "I don't really think that the human rights issue was raised during the meeting," said Liu.


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