Mr. Speaker, whenever a Chinese leader visits Canada there is always the public discussion of human rights in China.
This is an important issue and needs to be discussed. However, the debate often obscures another reality in China.
This was brought home to me last week when I visited a small rural village in the mountains of Guangdong province in southern China. There I met a young woman who told me a story about Premier Zhu Rongi, when he first became premier, who, when he saw the poverty that so many Chinese live in, said, with tears in his eyes, “What kind of premier am I that our people live in such poverty”.
As a result, Premier Zhu is working hard to bring decent health care to rural China. He insists that all children get an education and he strives every day to create the conditions that will give those children a better future.
This is a perspective that is not often heard in North America and one that we should consider when we rush to condemn.