The Chinese Communist Party has finished hosting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in what was clearly a feather-in-the-cap moment for the regime. Here it was, hosting and feting a man who had ripped the cadres so thoroughly his candidacy form Prime Minister was endorsed by yours truly, only to chuck it all out the window. This was yet another opportunity for the CCP show how it was moving forward, and bringing the Chinese people with it.

Except that even when it tries to impress, the regime leaves its guests . . . depressed. Paul Wells, one of the most insightful pundits in Canada (and easily the most humorous), gives his description of the hollowness of it all in Macleans. The last paragraph bring the point painfully home:

It’s a fake opera house across the park from a fake shopping mall next to a fake hotel in a fake neighbourhood designed to snow gullible foreigners, not 100 km from villages whose residents live in grinding poverty. A rich command economy is still a command economy, and it commands its subjects to live in ways that steal hope. There was much more to like about other parts of other cities we visited — Chongqing is wild, bustling, dirty and vital — but after less than a day I was eager to put Guangzhou behind my back. And grateful for the right to do so

That wasn’t in the CCP script. The ersatz wealth was supposed to make outsiders ignore the hopelessness, not zero in on it with sniper-like accuracy.

So once again, the regime’s attempt to win over foreigners (and thus justify its regime to the imprisoned Chinese people) goes awry, and the day when said Chinese people will take their country back continues its approach.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal