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Paul Martin doing China duty for Maurice Strong
by Judi McLeod, Canadafreepress.com
December 9, 2004
Parroting the line that Chinas economy will soon surpass that of the United States of America, Canada Prime Minister Paul Martin will position his country closer to China.
Martin does not have a crystal ball, nor does aligning Canada to China even originate from his own vision.
Martin is parroting the line of his long-time mentor Kyoto architect Maurice Strong.
Expecting to spend more than 50 percent of his time on Chinese projects, Strong at age 73, was apartment hunting in Beijing last January.
Now that China is destined to replace the USA as economic leader, it is Strongs avowed goal to "replace the United States of America with China as a world leader in ecology".
Thats an ambitious goal that leans heavily on Strongs bona fide connections to Communist China where he is well received, partly because his late cousin, Anna Louise Strong, a Marxist, and comitern member, spent two years with Chairman Mao and Chou En-lai in China. Chinese heroine Anna Louise Strong was buried in 1970, her funeral personally organized by Chou En-lai.
Of Strongs China mission, Earl Drake, a former Canadian ambassador to China, has this to say: "Hes always at the cutting edge of things and he feels that China could set an example for the rest of the world.
Drake, who currently serves as project director at the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, says, "China will soon be the No. 2 economy in the world. That will put huge pressure on the environment."
Nicholas Sonntag, a Canadian who heads up the Beijing office of CH2M Hill, one of the worlds leading environmental companies, has even more faith in Strong.
"Theyre taking a big risk," Sonntag says of China. "Theyre determined to be the economic engine of the world. This is why Maurice is here--to help them think things through."
Why an entire country would count on one man to "think things through" must rate as one of the contemporary worlds most intriguing mysteries.
Back in 1993 when he was chairman of Ontario Hydro, most folk recognized Strong for trying to buy a Costa Rican rain forest financed on taxpayers money.
But China and its potential as a customer for electric power was on Strongs mind even back then.
"This is one of the most rapidly expanding markets in the world," Strong told reporters in a conference telephone call from Beijing without elaborating. "China needs a lot of electrical power."
At the time, Ontario Hydro, Hydro-Quebec and the Montreal-based Power Corp. of Paul Desmarais TotalFinaElf fame, had formed a joint venture with $100-million to invest in power plants in China and elsewhere in Asia.
But Strong, a mystic who meditates daily, says the spiritual dimension is the most important part of his life and that money isnt important to him.
Meanwhile, theres a parrot emerging in the life and times of Maurice Strong. The parrots name is not Polly, but Paul.