column was published in the North
Shore News on
Sept. 27, 2000)
China connection persists
By Leo Knight
concerning the connections Prime Minister Jean Chretien has to
CITIC, the investment arm of the Chinese People's Liberation
Army (PLA), seems to have stirred up the emotions of a great
many of you.
That is as it should be.
there's oh, so much more than what was reported in this space
two weeks ago.
son-in-law, Andre Desmarais runs the huge Quebec-based Power
Corp. He also holds a seat on the board of CITIC, described as
the investment arm of the PLA and, through its subsidiaries, one
of the largest, if not the largest, manufacturers of weaponry
and armaments in the world. Need weapons for a small war to
crush the democratically elected government, Burma? No problem,
call CITIC. Pakistan developing nuclear weapons? No sweat.
CITIC's right there to help out. Hey Saddam, how've ya been?
on the board is Li Ka-Shing, one of the world's wealthiest men
and mentioned in both Canadian and American intelligence reports
as connected to the Triads in Hong Kong and the government of
the People's Republic of China (PRC). Classified RCMP
intelligence reports described and alleged Li to be one of the
most powerful gangsters in the world in the late 1980s. In fact,
the Royal Hong Kong Police asked CSIS to investigate Li here in
Canada in 1988 and the request was officially denied. Now, why
do you suppose that happened?
U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said, "The U.S. Bureau of
Export Affairs, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the Rand
Corporation ... have identified Li Ka-Shing and Hutchison
Whampoa (Li's primary business) as financing or serving as a
conduit for Communist China's military for them to acquire
sensitive technologies and other equipment."
also recall from the discussion two weeks ago, that Li owns
Gordon Securities, the company Chretien worked for during his
brief sojourn from politics while John Turner was leader of the
federal Liberals. A time period during which the PM made himself
a tidy little fortune.
was appointed to the board of CITIC in 1997 and this past spring
secured 4% of the Chinese company.
should also tell you at this point, that Li was involved in
initially setting up CITIC back in the late 1970s.
and Macao gambling tycoon, Stanley Ho, (he of the palatial
monstrosity at the entrance to Stanley Park) were two primary
targets in the now abandoned joint CSIS/RCMP project Sidewinder.
closure of the Sidewinder project has resulted in accusations of
political interference from the Prime Minister's Office, which
are now supposedly being investigated by the CSIS civilian
watchdog agency SIRC. Their report, initially due this month,
has now been delayed until some time late in the year at best.
with the RCMP are suggesting this is due to the upcoming trade
mission to the PRC by Chretien and sponsored by a
Chinese/Canadian business organization that Desmarais also has a
hand in. Chretien is scheduled to be the keynote speaker to the
group while in the PRC in November.
a side note, this trade mission, not to be confused with just
another junket, is the seventh such trip in as many years by
Chretien. Despite all the ballyhoo whenever these trips are
done, all the phony contract signings depicted as though they
are the direct result of the hard work done on these junkets,
uhh, trade missions, the trade imbalance between the two
countries is still huge. In fact, the trade deficit between
Canada and the PRC stands at a whopping $6,260,967,000.
to the SIRC report. One of the members of SIRC and responsible
for determining whether the PMO interfered in Project
Sidewinder, is former Ontario premier, Bob Rae. You know the guy
who single-handedly destroyed the economy of the industrial
heartland of Canada. No easy feat either. The same Bob Rae, who
has recently been in the news for mediating, so to speak, the
lobster dispute in Burnt Church. Just can't seem to keep his
snout out of the government trough.
brother may be the source of some of the government largesse he
receives. You see, Bob's brother John, is the campaign manager
and senior adviser to none other than Jean Chretien. He is also
a senior executive in Power Corp.
is a very powerful back room boy with the federal Liberals and
part of a small circle of people who really run this country.
Bob Rae, while he occupied the office of the Premier of Ontario,
is believed to have met Li and Ho.
fact, he and his party is believed to have benefited from
political donations emanating from Canadian companies controlled
by both Li and Ho, the very thing Sidewinder was investigating.
follow me here:
Sidewinder was investigating political corruption and influence
peddling by Asian gangsters and businessmen acting as agents of
the government of the PRC. Sidewinder was shut down prematurely
and all associated documentation was ordered shredded.
Investigators screamed political interference by the PMO.
sanitized version of Sidewinder is produced under the code name
"Echo." The real version was not all destroyed as it
was ordered to be. Li and Ho were primary targets. Li sits with
PM's son-in-law on the board of CITIC. Li employed the PM prior
to his election to that office.
reports on the Sidewinder scandal force SIRC to announce a
review. One of the people responsible for the review is directly
connected to the PM's close circle. He also may have benefited
from the very type of influence peddling and corruption
Sidewinder was about while in office. He also directly
represents the government on issues like Burnt Church.
SIRC report is inexplicably delayed just while the PM is
planning another trade mission to China set up by his
There's a whole lot more than this space allows. So excuse me while I go and check the legal definition of "conflict of interest" and "breach of trust."