As reported in The Globe and Mail and The National Post, Prime Minister Jean Chretien scolded the Chinese government for suppressing religious freedom and warned that the country could lose foreign investment over its human-rights record, during his trip there this week. “True friends are never shy about exchanging views on important issues, and so as a friend, I must tell you that Canadians are concerned when they hear reports from China of interference in the right of free expression. Or that people are imprisoned and badly treated for observing their spiritual beliefs. These reports transgress our most deeply held convictions,” Chretien told students at the East China University of Politics and Law. The prime minister reportedly had the falun gong movement and Tibetan followers of the Dalai Lama in mind when he spoke; at any rate, there is no mention in these stories of the church in China, which is also suffering persecution.
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