FOR THE SAKE OF ARGUMENT
Escott Reid says: It’s time Canada worked boldly to seat Red China in the UN, and really helped have-not nations
THERE IS TODAY in Canada an increasing sense of frustration about Canadian foreign policy and diplomacy. There is an ever-deepening feeling of revulsion against United States policy on Vietnam. There is a lessening of confidence in the ability of the United States to provide wise leadership for the Western world. There is a growing demand that Canadian diplomacy should be much less quiet and Canadian foreign policy much more independent. There are indications of the growth of public support for a new kind of isolationism.
1 believe that the sense of frustration about Canadian foreign policy and diplomacy would be substantially lessened if our government were to establish more clearly than it has done, and to establish publicly, some very precise priorities on the big issues of world affairs, and if the government were to concentrate our limited resources of brains, money, crusading zeal and diplomatic talent on the issues to which it has given the highest priority.
I am arrogant enough to say I have no doubt about what those issues are. I believe the two supremely important tasks of the whole community of nations in this last third of the 20th century are, first, to try to narrow the dangerously wide gap between China and the rest of the world and, secondly, to speed up the rate of economic growth of the underdeveloped two thirds of the world.
I believe that, unless the community of nations can meet with reasonable success in these two tasks, the outlook for our children and their children is bleak. I believe Canada is wealthy enough, intelligent, experi-
enced, sensitive enough, to play an important and creative role in a sustained co-operative international effort to deal with these two great tasks. I believe the Canadian government should announce publicly that over the next 10 years it is going to concentrate its efforts in the general field of foreign policy on these two tasks.
CHINA: If Canada is to play an important and creative role in a sustained co-operative international effort to try to narrow the wide gap between China and the rest of the world, Canada will, of course, have to try to co-ordinate its moves with the moves of other countries.
The first step could be to make discreet diplomatic soundings of a number of friendly governments on whether they would join with us in efforts to unseat the representatives appointed by the government in Taiwan to the UN General Assembly. This would be a first step toward seating representatives appointed by the government in Peking in all the organs and agencies of the UN.
This is not a question of the “admission” of “Communist China” to the United Nations. China is a founder member of the UN, a permanent member of the Security Council. The question is, Who should represent China in the UN? Should he be a delegate appointed by the government in Taiwan or by the government in Peking?
We should not confuse the issue by talking about “two Chinas.” Mainland China has a population of 700-to-800 million. The population of Formosa or Taiwan is 12-to-13 million — less than two percent of the combined total. The term “two Chinas” is so inappropriate as to be misleading.
The first step in seating the real representatives of China in the UN is to open the Chinese seat in the General Assembly by a decision of that body that the credentials of the representatives appointed by Taiwan are not in order.
The unseating of the Taiwan representatives would not mean that the General Assembly had decided that Taiwan was part of China. It would not mean that the General Assembly had decided that China had any right to occupy Taiwan. It would mean that Taiwan would cease to be a member of the UN until it was admitted as a new member on the recommendation of the Security Council approved by the General Assembly. The Soviet Union could, and presumably would, veto such a recommendation by the Security Council and Taiwan would have to join
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ARGUMENT continued front pape 10
A Canadian embassy in Peking could help close gap
the queue of countries that are unable for the time being to gain entry to the UN: the two Germanies, the two Koreas, the two Vietnams.
This is unfortunate but it is the result of the way the Charter of the UN is drafted. 1 know of no international lawyer who has been able to demonstrate that there is any way consistent with the Charter for Taiwan to be a member of the UN, once the representatives of Peking have been seated in the General Assembly, other than as a new member elected by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council.
It is to be hoped that, once the General Assembly had unseated the delegates appointed by Taiwan, the Security Council would likewise decide that the credentials of the representative appointed to the Security Council by the government in Taiwan were not in order and that that representative could no longer sit on the Security Council as the representative of China. This would make it possible for the Security Council to recognize the credentials of a representative appointed by Peking.
Once the Chinese seats in the General Assembly and the Security Council were open, it would be appropriate for the Secretary General of the UN to discuss with the government in Peking the accrediting by it of representatives to the General Assembly and the Security Council.
The unseating of Taiwan by the General Assembly and the Security Council would facilitate the recognition of the Peking government by Canada and those members of the UN that do not now recognize Peking. All that would be necessary would be for those governments to declare publicly and formally that they recognize the Peking government as the government of China. This would provide a basis for negotiating with Peking on the establishment of diplomatic relations. Recognition is a unilateral act. unlike the establishment of diplomatic relations which requires, of course, the agreement of both parties.
As soon as the government in Peking has demonstrated that it is able and willing to provide adequate protection and facilities to diplomats accredited to Peking, the Canadian government should begin confidential discussions with China on the exchange of embassies.
It is 16 years since the United States and Canada withdrew their em-
bassies from China. The embassies were a valuable source of current information, and — more important — they were training grounds for foreignservice officers to become experts on China. The result of the closing down of the embassies is that there is an ever-diminishing amount of expert, recent, firsthand knowledge and understanding of China in Ottawa and
The United States has, 1 am sure, a vast and efficient apparatus for collecting information about what is going on in China and analyzing it. But there is probably now no one in the State Department under 45 who has ever served in a United States embassy on the mainland of China and there is, I assume, no one in the State Department who has that kind of percipience about China that can only come from having recently lived in it for a number of years.
Suppose that within the next two years Canada were able to work out an agreement with China for the establishment of a Canadian embassy in Peking, and that Canada were to maintain there four of our most brilliant foreign-service officers for periods of two years. Suppose that this period of service had been preceded by two years or so of concentrated study
at a first-class institute for the study of contemporary China and was followed by further work on China. The result 10 years from now would be that we would have 16 first-rate officers in the Canadian foreign service with considerable knowledge and understanding of China.
The American Embassy in Moscow in the 1930s was a forcing ground for talent on Russia (men such as George Kennan and Charles Bohlen) which has served well the whole of the Western world. I should like to see
the Canadian Embassy in Peking in the 1970s be a forcing ground for talent on China which could serve well the whole of the Western world.
If the United States should, unfortunately, not find it possible to move at the same speed as Canada in normalizing its relations with China, the existence of experts on China in the Canadian foreign service could be of great importance in increasing North American understanding of China by supplementing the information the United States was able to secure from its own sources. If, which God forbid, the United States even 10 years from now had not been able to establish diplomatic relations with China, there might well be nobody in the State Department under the age of 55 who had ever served in an embassy on the mainland of China and there would presumably be no one in the State Department who had the kind of recent first - hand knowledge of China that the 16 Canadian experts would have.
Canada would be making a contribution to a better understanding by the United States of what is happening among the 700to-800 million people of China if it were to get out well in front in an effort to build bridges between North America and China.
FOREIGN ECONOMIC AID:
Economic aid from rich countries to poor countries is not the whole answer to the problems of the poor countries. But it is an essential part of it. The tragedy of the present situation is this: The poor nations of the world are now able to use more foreign aid in their economic development and to use foreign aid more sensibly, effectively and efficiently. But the rich nations, which are getting much richer every year, are doing less every year for the poor nations. Unless the rich nations do more to help the poor nations, the painfully slow advance of the poor nations out of their poverty will become slower and slower until it grinds to a halt. This will increase human misery. It will increase international tension. It will increase the chances of civil wars, local wars, anarchy, world wars.
Canada is doing more every year in foreign aid at a time when the main aid-giving countries have been leveling off their contributions. The Canadian aid effort is now about $300 million a year in equipment, expertise, training and commodities. The Canadian government has announced that it will “expand its contribution to international development progressively so as to reach the target of one percent of our gross national product by
1970-71.” In 1971 our gross national product is likely to be about $67 billion.
A contribution of $670 million a year is good but I do not believe it is good enough. I believe that Canada's goal should be a billion dollars a year, if not by 1971 at least by 1973 when our gross national product is likely to be about $75 billion.
I had better make clear what I mean by this. First of all, I mean a billion constant dollars, that is dollars with the purchasing power of dollars in 1968. (By 1973 this would probably mean about a billion 100 million dollars, assuming that the purchasing power of the dollar shrinks by about 1.5 percent a year.) Secondly, I mean official aid only, not official aid plus private investment. I favor a great increase in the present flow of private investment from Canada to underdeveloped countries. But I believe that our official aid by itself should reach a billion dollars. Thirdly, I mean a net flow of a billion dollars, and I define net flow as being the disbursements on aid less the amounts that the underdeveloped countries are paying us to service their existing official debts to us — payments of interest plus amortization of capital.
I am not suggesting that the people of Canada reduce their present standards of living to do this. I am suggesting that we forego a little of the increase we can reasonably expect every year in our standards of living. If every year for the next five years we were to increase our foreign aid by devoting to it about one fifteenth of our annual real increase in national production, we would reach a billion dollars a year by 1973.
Canada in the Big Six
A Canada that had announced its foreign aid would reach a billion dollars a year by 1973 would immediately become on foreign aid one of the six great powers of the world and would be in a strong position to urge other countries to at least double their contributions by 1973. This would bring the total net flow of aid from the rich members of the World Bank to the underdeveloped members of the World Bank up to about $13 billion a year. The president of the World Bank said in 1965 that the underdeveloped members could put to constructive use in 1965 nine to $10 billion a year of aid from the rich members of the bank. It is not unreasonable to assume that they could constructively use $13 billion a year by 1973. This is the minimum goal Canada should aim at.
As a great power in foreign aid, Canada could also take a lead in international efforts to make all the international agencies concerned directly or indirectly with the economic development of poor countries more effective, more efficient instruments for speeding up the rate of economic growth of poor countries. I am thinking of a whole alphabet of agencies: WHO, ILO. FAO, UNESCO, UNCTAD, the GATT, OECD, the UN Development Program, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the regional development banks. These agencies are numerous and important. They are all doing good work.
but they could do better.
A Canada that had announced it would be providing a billion dollars a year in foreign aid by 1973 could appropriately play a leading role in stimulating the world community to make an organized examination of all these agencies. We Canadians should not be over-modest about our capacity to play this kind of leading role. There is no country in the world that has more men than Canada in its cabinet and in the senior ranks of its
public service who have worked on the problems of international economic development for the past 20 years. Canada has some of the best of the younger experts in the world.
The role I propose for Canada would not be an easy one. It would be extremely difficult. It would require, for example, a willingness to be self-effacing and a determination not to succumb to the temptation to claim public credit for successful initiatives. It would require the exercise over a
long period of time of the most subtle arts of diplomacy.
The diplomatic aspects of a Canadian crusade against world poverty would, like those of the Canadian crusade for the North Atlantic Treaty 20 years ago, have to be models of quiet diplomacy, whether that diplomacy was being conducted in Ottawa, or in New York, Paris or Moscow, Delhi, Rome, Abidjan, Washington, Rio. Cairo or Warsaw.
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Canada’s role: help lessen human misery, help avoid war
THERE ARE no longer three worlds. There are four.
There is the world composed of the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. This world is wealthy and almost entirely white. It numbers about 300 million people.
There is the world composed of all
the other wealthy nations, nations which, like the nations of the Soviet world, have a per-capita income of at least $750 a year: the United States, Britain, Western Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Israel, Argentina, Venezuela and Kuwait. This world is also almost entirely white. It numbers about 700 million
Thus the two wealthy worlds number about a billion people out of the three and a half billion people in the whole world
The third world is China — 750 million poverty-stricken yellow people with a per-capita income of about $85 a year.
The fourth world is composed of the other poor nations, nations with a percapita income of less than $250 a year. This world is almost entirely colored, and is Asian, African or South American. It numbers about a billion 500 million people.
Thus the two poverty-stricken worlds number two and a quarter billion people, almost two thirds of the population of the world. The two poor worlds lie to the south of the two wealthy worlds.
(There are about 250 million people who don’t fit into these four neat categories. They live in the middleincome countries, countries with percapita incomes between $250 and $750. These are the countries of southern Europe, the Balkans and Central America. They include also Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Uruguay, South Africa and a few other countries.)
My plea is that Canada should concentrate its efforts in the general field of foreign policy on the third and fourth worlds, on helping to speed up their rate of economic growth, on helping to close the gap between China and the rest of the world by gradually bringing China back into the position in the community of nations to which it is entitled by its population, its strength, its great and ancient culture. If Canada were to do this it could play an important and constructive role in world affairs. It could help to lessen human misery. It could help reduce the chances of war.
IT IS A DANGEROUS thing for a great power to come to believe that it has a messianic role to play in world affairs. I am not so sure that it might not be a good thing for Canada to come to believe, if not that it has a messianic role to play in world affairs, that it has a very special creative role to play. I believe it has. I believe that by playing that role to the best of our abilities we will not only reduce the chances of war, we will help to make Canada a prouder, more self-confident, more united nation. ★