Letter: New West council should publicly oppose China's UBCM reception

Editor:

The Union of BC Municipalities’ annual conference is fast approaching and, like many, I'm appalled the Chinese (government) is a sponsor (of a reception).

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A couple of months ago, I emailed our mayor and council asking them to publicly oppose the presence of the (Chinese government) at the UBCM conference and indicate whether they planned to attend.

To date, I have not received a reply from any of them. It seems odd that a mayor and council so intent on rectifying social injustices from the past would turn a blind eye to the soft power influences of a repressive totalitarian regime. Especially so in light of the fact we have Canadians languishing in Chinese jails, possibly facing the death penalty, not to mention thousands of Canadian farmers being unfairly penalized because we honoured an extradition agreement.

In retired journalist Jonathan Manthorpe's excellent book, Claws of the Panda, he details how over the past 25 years naive local politicians and trustees have been misled into thinking the (Chinese government’s) intentions were honourable. They are not, (they are) not our friend or ally, they are fully intent on achieving serious influence in our education, business, and political arenas and recent events have shown how they will punish anyone who challenges them.

Our mayor and council should take a time out from tearing down statues and rewriting history to confront this current reality.

Andrew Murray, New Westminster

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