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Film Festival in Ottawa Focuses on Canada-China Relations

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www.ntdtv.ca/b5/2012/11/05/Art88904.html

Film Festival in Ottawa Focuses on Canada-China Relations


China has been the center of attention in Parliament both for issues of the CNOOC-Nexen deal and the controversial Foreign Investors Protection Agreement, which could be ratified any time now.


China was also a big focus at the Free Thinking Film Festival in Ottawa this year. On Friday the festival held a panel to discuss China''s society and its impact on Canada''s international trade and economy. Here''s the report and please be warned that some of the content has graphic descriptions that may not be suitable for all viewers.
Every year the annual Free Thinking Film Festival brings though-evoking masterpieces to Ottawa. This year the focus was China and communism. And these weren''t the kind of films you could digest with popcorn and pop.

[Fred Litwin, President & Founder, Free Thinking Film Society]:
"I wanted to make China a very big focus of our festival this year so that Canadians could see for themselves the human rights abuses, the portrayed practices of China. And put some pressure on the Canadian government to work towards democracy and freedom, and liberty for the Chinese people. That''s what''s important, and that''s my goal."

And the pressure on the Parliament is high.

Although business with Communist China appears lucrative for investors, what''s at stake is the well-being of Canadians.

[Greg Autry, Co-Author of Death by China]:
"Doesn''t respect its own people and a total lack of labour standards. Hundreds of thousands of people that are maimed and killed every year in Chinese industry and extraction should scare the willies out of the Canadians."

Greg Autry is the co-author and producer of "Death by China." It''s a documentary that focuses on America''s destructive economic trade relationship with the Chinese regime.

[Greg Autry, Co-Author of "Death by China"]:
There was a mine accident in China — which they happen all the time — but the Chinese just abandoned their miners in the mine and they dug themselves out."

And it''s not just worker''s rights and safety that''s in question. Foreign investors also have to think about whether Chinese state-owned enterprises will play fair.

[David Kilgour, Former Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific]:
"Twelve years ago, 20 million dollars. The business had 2,000 employees. It had been "privatized" but the mayor of the city who used to be the manager of the pharmaceutical company near Beijing decided he wanted it back. So guess what, before very long the gates were padlocked and then the taxes started running and within a year this family had lost every penny of their investment...If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would not invest a penny in China until it gets the rule of law. "

There''s also the question whether Canadians would want a company like CNOOC, who is helping the Chinese communist regime persecute innocent citizens, do business in Canada. CNOOC has been sending its employees in mainland China who practice Falun Gong into brainwashing classes labour camps. And once detained, Falun Gong practitioners are subject to unimaginable torture by the guards.

[Jennifer Zeng, Falun Gong Practitioner, "Free China"]:
"They [labour camp guards] figured a way to use two toothbrush and put them together with a sharp end outside and then push this thing inside the vagina of female Falun Gong practitioners and twist, twist, twist, until they saw blood came out. So endless torture is one part of our life in the labour camp."

Jennifer Zeng''s story of being persecuted in China was featured in "Free China," an award-winning documentary that exposes the widespread human rights violations that take place in China today.

The mandate of the Free Thinking Film Festival is to screen films in Ottawa that would engage the public in serious debate, something the festival feels is lacking in many events.

And given Canada''s increasing relations with China, debate is what this country needs.
 
 
 
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