Madam Speaker, it is indeed an honour to stand today to talk about the re-establishment of the Canada-China special committee and the work we need to undertake with respect to our relationship with China.
I want to thank my colleague from Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley for his very strong intervention, and indeed all members of the House as we consider taking on this important work.
The month of May is Asian Heritage Month, and I want to recognize all the great contributions that Asians and Chinese Canadians have made to this country. I want to mention the Hon. Philip Lee, who was the lieutenant governor of Manitoba, and the great work he did in representing the Crown in Manitoba, which he did with dignity and grace. He was an excellent representative of the Government of Manitoba.
Earlier this week, a number of my colleagues were outside on the front lawn talking about the 30th anniversary of Falun Dafa, which is known as World Falun Dafa Day. We talked about all of the great contributions that Asian Canadians are making to Canada. We can look at how Falun Gong practitioners have come here and how they practise what they preach: truthfulness, tolerance and forbearance. They have brought those qualities and values to Canada and made us a better country.
Unfortunately, Falun Gong practitioners in China are being persecuted, arrested, subjected to illegal organ harvesting, which is disgusting, and brutalized by the communist regime in Beijing. They expect us to use this committee to get to the bottom of what is happening under the communist regime and to stop it by sanctioning those who profiteer from this disgusting illegal organ harvesting. We need to make sure there is legislation coming through. There is a bill coming from the Senate, Bill S-223, that will address this issue and hold to account not just those who are committing the atrocities in China, but those around the world who are paying for and benefiting from those organs in a way that would be considered illegal in Canada. We need to put a stop to it.
As we look at the work that this special committee on Canada-China relations can do, it can dig down into the human rights abuses that are happening, not only to the Falun Gong practitioners I have mentioned, but also to the Uighurs, Tibetans, Christians and other minority religious groups throughout China that have been completely ostracized by the regime in Beijing. We know they are not allowed to practise freedom of religion. We know they have not been able to assemble peacefully because they will be arrested and ultimately end up in prison or in forced labour. We are seeing more and more the Chinese government using people of ethnic and religious diversities as forced labour, and we have to make sure that no Canadian companies are profiteering or using supply chains that involve this type of forced, illegal labour.
We have talked about supply chains. If we look at what has happened in Canada during the pandemic, the supply chains have been disrupted, partly because so much of that is coming out of China itself. We need to have sovereign control over a lot of those supply chains. We need to make sure we are working with our friends and allies around the world so we can have dependable supply chains, so we can get the electronic chips that go into the cars that are now sitting at parking lots and auto dealerships around the country; they cannot move because they lack some of the computer chips that are needed to operate the vehicles.
We know that supply chains were disrupted when it comes to PPE and that we were scrambling because of the unwillingness of mainland China to bring forward any of the supply we so desperately needed. We need to look at how we can strengthen our supply chain and work more with our allies and trading partners without having Chinese companies, which are often controlled by the state, coming into that supply chain and disrupting it. For our own economy, for our own citizens, it is important that we have control. It is about national security.
One of the biggest disappointments in the past six years under the Liberal government, and now the Liberal-NDP coalition, is that Huawei is still out there as a potential supplier of 5G technology to our mobile cellular system and Wi-Fi systems. We know Huawei has been tied to espionage around the world. That is why our Five Eyes partners, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, have all banned Huawei from their mobile systems, yet here we are, still waffling because the government cannot make a decision. That is despicable. We need to make these decisions.
We can look at how Huawei in particular has worked, even here in Canada. When I was parliamentary secretary for national defence, we took over the Nortel campus, when Nortel unfortunately closed its doors, and made that into the new campus for National Defence. It took years to clean out all the switches and wiring installed by Huawei, which had the ability to spy on Nortel, and ultimately on National Defence as it took over these buildings. National Defence was not there when this was originally installed in the Nortel campus, and it was not meant to be used against National Defence, but with National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces moving into the Nortel campus, the dynamics changed completely.
There is a huge track record by Huawei of not being trustworthy. It is under the Communist Party of China's control through its own charter as a corporation, and it has to co-operate with the Government of China when it wants Huawei to spy on other nations, corporations or individuals. We need to be very forthright in how we deal with it.
One of the things the committee should look at is how Canada can insert itself in some of the national security conversations that are happening on a global scale. In the Pacific, there is already what is called the quadrilateral dialogue, which involves India, Japan, the United States and Australia. Canada is not part of that discussion, and it should be.
This committee should look at how Canada can get involved in these conversations to strengthen the Indo-Pacific region, how we can make sure we counteract some of those geopolitical games that the communist regime in Beijing has been playing in the South China Sea, how it has been rattling sabres to scare Taiwan, and how it has installed a new administrator for Hong Kong and continues to violate the democratic and civil liberties of the Chinese community in Hong Kong, which includes 300,000 Canadians. We need to make sure we deal with this at the special committee on Canada-China relations.
The other organization that was just set up is being built around a national defence co-operation agreement called AUKUS, which includes Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. They are co-operating not just on intelligence sharing, which the Five Eyes has done, but also on national defence issues, including empowering the Australian navy with submarines, as well as on greater training, co-operation and collaboration among those three allies of Canada.
We should be part of that group. It may be too late for us to get in, and maybe there needs to be a path forward on how Canada can become part of that security agreement, but we are a Pacific nation. As a Pacific nation, we should be more involved in defence issues in the South Pacific, and indeed in the Indo-Pacific region, to counterbalance what is happening with the Chinese geopolitical sphere and the way China is trying to influence and potentially use force as it builds up its military to levels we have never seen.
Finally, when we look at China through this committee, we also need to look at how China is being used as a back door to take Russian goods and enrich the Russian military machine that we see waging war in Ukraine today. We need to make sure we are counterbalancing that, by looking at China and trying to get it to move away from enriching Putin and his kleptocrats. We need to make sure we get more sanctions on Russia, and that includes talking to China about how it should participate in the rule of law under the international agreements we have and isolate Russia, rather than enriching it so it can wage war on the great people of Ukraine.