• FLASHBACK: New Canadian PM Praised China’s Dictatorship

    Justin Trudeau’s win in Monday’s Canadian election means Canada will be seeing a new government for the first time in a decade. With Trudeau about to form his own administration, it’s worth recalling the time he said the government he most admires is China’s “basic dictatorship.”

    While attending a ladies’ night fundraiser in 2013, Trudeau was asked what country’s administration he most admires. His response, somewhat peculiarly, was the one-party regime of China.

    “There is a level of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime and say we need to go green, we need to start, you know, investing in solar,” Trudeau said. “There is a flexibility that I know [then-Conservative prime minister] Stephen Harper must dream about: having a dictatorship where you can do whatever you wanted, that I find quite interesting.”

    Trudeau never really backed off from these remarks, though he later clarified he still prefers Canada overall. He said he was simply making the point that other countries Canada competes with “play by different rules” that allow them to “address some major issues quickly.”

    It’s not the only time Trudeau showed a favorable attitude towards China. In 2012, for instance, he suggested there is little difference between a Chinese state-owned firm and a Scandinavian state-owned firm, despite the latter ones at least being based in democracies ruled by law rather than by decree.

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