Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend for his question. It is an essential moral question I struggled with regarding Bill C-50. I do not know the answer. As I said in my speech, we must look at it 10 years down the line to see if it has worked. My hope and prayer is that it will.
I take some solace in Bill C-50 because the most hardline supporters of the despotic regime in China are those most opposed to the liberalization of trade. That fact alone gives me hope that by liberalizing trade and increasing discourse between China and the free world we would be able to improve the norms of human rights within China.
Do I think it would change the situation in Tibet overnight? I absolutely do not. Nor do I think it would change in the intermediate term. The only way to change the situation in Tibet and China is by fostering repeated and increasing discourse between the free world and China. We need to break down barriers and strengthen the Chinese middle class. We need to make the young and the middle class in China understand that basic human rights are fundamental to the security of a country. We need to show them that respect for human rights in other countries is fundamental to the strength of China as a nation. My hope is that this will occur.
As I said in my speech, liberalizing trade would not give tacit moral approval to the Chinese regime. Trade is a discourse between individuals and firms. We could use other measures to express our dissatisfaction. If China took a hard turn toward becoming more despotic we could use WTO trade levers against it. I hope the government has the courage to do that. Members of the Canadian Alliance would be pushing the government to do it.