. . . the belly of the Loon, is not as roomy as the belly of the Dragon
Eric LaMont Gregory
"Any economic strategy that ignores China, or that treats that valuable relationship as anything less than critically important, is not just short-sighted, it's irresponsible. We know that a stronger and deeper relationship with China is essential if we are to achieve our own objectives -- to create Canadian jobs, to strengthen the middle class and to grow the Canadian economy." PM Justin Trudeau
. . . of all the major political powers on this planet, China has had the most success in structuring a workable relationship with its Islamic community Eric LaMont Gregory, Understanding Radical Islam, made easy
The reader might want to pause, take a deep breath (breathe out, and let involuntary physiological mechanisms take care of the rest) and consider the phrase ' ... the belly of the Loon, is not as roomy as the belly of the Dragon.'
The knowledgeable reader will recognize that that phrase appears in the seminal work by Eric LaMont Gregory, The Ultimate Vanishing Act, and was in response to Gregory being asked to sum up the relations between China and the USA (and by implication the West) by a Kennedy/Johnson era Arms negotiator just before the beginning of the SALT/Helsinki Talks and Accords meetings and negotiations.
The use of the Loon, of course, is a paraphrase, as the original response read, ' ... the belly of the Eagle is not as roomy as the belly of the Dragon.' The substitution of the Loon for the Eagle, distracts very little from the comparative size of the belly of the two birds, or the larger context of the phrase, which is the comparative size of belly of the North American Eagle, whose image is symbolic of a people as well as a nation, to the belly of the highly expansive Chinese Dragon, whose image is symbolic of a people as well as a nation.
Summitry, by any other name, would provide just as many (or is it no less) as many opportunities to project a vision, or to envision a path, along which two nations might travel, and maintain their self-respect at the same time.
In that regard, the Canadian Press, CBC News Network (Why don't you tell us what you really think about us) has made the discussion of human rights loom as a problem for Trudeau, that is, a thorny path obscuring the most productive relations between the Canadians and the Chinese, and between Canada and China.
It is not often (perhaps, the phrase it is rare, is more fitting), that the CBC writer and commentator Don Pitts, actually seems to be writing about the same events that the rest of the world is discussing at the moment, but as rare as it is his recent statement ' ... it is right for Trudeau to look to the long game of gradual influence, rather than drawing a line in the sand,' shows a current awareness that this author had not witnessed in Pitts columns, before this latest offering.
It stands to reason that the path to mutual respect between individuals, groups or nations, as it is with the path to liberty, is often strewn with many piercing thorns — ' ... and is often clouded by the fitful storms of blighting disappointments.'
That said, as detailed in the soon to be released book 'Understanding Radical Islam, made easy', of all the major political powers on this planet China has had the most success in structuring a workable relationship with its Islamic community.
The Chinese approach to Islam is multi-faceted, and covers the broad spectrum of Islamic presentations that seem to bewilder so many other states.
Whereas, in all too many circumstances other governments, as often as not, have pursued approaches that made the situation and matters worse between the state and Islam as well as the people and their ability to accommodate the practice of Islam in their communities, while the Chinese have an approach, and it is working.
There is a lot the rest of the world can learn from the Chinese approach. And, it is incumbent upon PM Justin Trudeau to leave China with an incisive understanding of the Chinese approach to Islam, and its Muslim communities.
In many cases it could be stated the problem, like the solution, lies in ourselves, not in the stars.
But in the case of China and Islam, an ideal place to begin understanding the relationship is in fact in the stars. The stars of the Chinese Flag.
Perspective is always important, and especially so, in political discourse.
In that light, it is difficult to reconcile the uproar over China's human rights record, when cruel and unusual punishments are being handed out in Canada to a highly selective segment of the population and those operating under the colour of authority abuse highly vulnerable indigenous girls.
Two young Canadian citizens were killed while traveling in Mexico, a major Canadian trade partner, where some 130,000 people have been killed in the last several years fighting over who will supply illicit drugs to the US and Canada, where they are in fact illegal. And, the Canadian courts recently revealed that some 200 police authorities spent two years conspiring to convict a mentally challenged young couple of terrorism charges related to crimes they were, in fact, incapable of committing without the delft hand of the involvement of the police and security authorities themselves.
Those same police and security authorities seem incapable of mounting an effort to bring to justice the Islamic radical murderers of two other Canadian citizens beheaded in the Philippines, and yet, a press that even in pluralistic Canada still does not represent the rich tapestry of ethnic diversity that exists in Canada, chastises the Liberal PM Trudeau for not being human rights-wise tough with China. Go figure.
It would be unwise for the PM to leave China without having acquired an exacting understanding of how China manages its relations with Islam and the Muslim community within its borders and beyond hem..
And, it ought to be of interest for the PM to appreciate that Canada (post Harper), in the minds of the Chinese, after themselves, has done the best job among the major world powers of developing an approach to Islam and its Muslim communities that has a real chance of being workable.
The next stop for Justin Trudeau is, of course, Russia. And, a tête-à-têtewith yet another world leader who has been on the receiving end of Islamic insurgency for decades.