‘Red-Handed’: China Used Trudeau Dad’s ‘Motorcycle Diaries’ Knockoff to Promote Justin’s Career

Clement Sabourin, Jean Vincent/Getty, AP Photo

A Chinese regime-linked company published a re-issue of a communist propaganda travelogue by Pierre Trudeau shortly before his son, current Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, launched his career in politics, Peter Schweizer details in his new book Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win.

Pierre Trudeau, himself prime minister decades before his son, was a longtime supporter of communism and met with mass murderer Mao Zedong personally during the visit that would lead to him penning his book, Two Innocents in Red China, alongside colleague Jacques Hébert following travel in 1960.

Pierre Trudeau and Jacques Hébert’s communist China travelogue.

The tenures of both Trudeaus at the helm of the Canadian government, Schweizer meticulously documents, are marred with extensive business dealings with companies linked to the Chinese Communist Party. The incumbent Trudeau has faced several scandals involving allegations of illicit lobbying insufficient action in the face of a litany of Chinese human rights abuses, including against Canadian citizens.

“Obviously, my family has historical ties with China,” Justin Trudeau affirmed in 2012, Red-Handed details, as he promoted further linking his country’s economy to China.

Long before Justin Trudeau became prime minister, however, he joined a Liberal Party youth task force in 2006. Shortly before that, the Chinese government – through the “Shanghai People’s Publishing House” – published a Chinese written language edition of Two Innocents in Red China. The book intends to tell the story of two young men using travel and adventure to discovery the glories of communism, in the style of communist killer Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s Motorcycle Diaries. The film version of the Motorcycle Diaries became a Hollywood hit about two years before China republished Two Innocents in Red China.

“This travelogue of his visit to China is filled with naïveté and revolutionary sloganeering,” Schweizer writes in Red-Handed. “Trudeau and Hébert posed for pictures with the members of Young Pioneers, the Communist Party Youth Group rich in indoctrination, and proclaimed, “’it is these red-scarfed kids who in twenty years will be the New Men of a country which at that time will have a billion inhabitants.'”

The book effusively praises Mao Zedong, responsible for at least 50 million deaths.

“Indeed, the experience of that superb strategist, Mao Tse-tung, might lead us to conclude that in a vast and heterogeneous country, the possibility of establishing socialist strongholds in certain regions is the very best thing,” Trudeau and Hébert hoped.

Schweizer notes that the book was written amid the Great Leap Forward, a communist campaign believed to be responsible for the vast majority of Mao’s body count.

Red Guards and students, waving copies of Chairman Mao Zedong’s “Little Red Book,” parade in Beijing’s streets in June 1966 at the beginning of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Following the May 1966 launch of the Cultural Revolution at Beijing University, the Red Guards went on a rampage in Chinese towns, terrorizing people, particularly the elderly. (JEAN VINCENT/AFP via Getty Images)

The propaganda team formed by the Red Guards of the Beijing Mechanical Engineering Institute recite in unison the quotations from “Mao Zedong Thought” in Tiananmen Square on November 2, 1966. (XINHUA/AFP via Getty Images)

A small group of Chinese youths walk past several dazibaos, the revolutionary placards, in February 1967 in downtown Beijing, during the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.” (JEAN VINCENT/AFP via Getty Images)

Chinese Red Guards are seen in a truck with a portrait of Mao Zedong in Beijing in the late 1960s during the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.” (AFP via Getty Images)

This photo dated July 7, 1967, taken in the Nanshanglo administrative district not far from Beijing, was given the following caption by the Chinese Communist Party’s official news agency Xinhua: ”Every day, prior to starting work in the field, young people and young girls read and meditate together some of ”Mao Zedong Thought.” (XINHUA/AFP via Getty Images)

Elderly men and young boys stand amidst the rubble of a small Buddhist temple in a suburb of Beijing, after the Red Guard entered the temple and destroyed temple objects on August 24, 1966. After knocking over the statuary, the Red Guard pasted signs on the temple wall calling for an end to traditional Chinese objects. (AP Photo)

The statuary of a Buddhist temple is shown scattered on the grounds after the Red Guard rampaged through the temple on August 24, 1966. (AP Photo)

An image of Buddha in Lin Yin Temple in Hangchow, China, is plastered with signs from the Red Guard that read “Destroy the old world” and “Establish a new world,” on August 27, 1966. (AP Photo)

A poster displayed on a Beijing street in late 1966 shows how to deal with a so-called “enemy of the people” during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. (JEAN VINCENT/AFP via Getty Images)

Red Guards drive truck through Wu Han on April 18, 1967, during the Cultural Revolution. (AP Photo)

With placards hanging around their necks, two Chinese men, so-called anti-revolutionary elements, are driven through the streets of Beijing by members of the Red Guard on January 8, 1967, during the early days of the Cultural Revolution. The photo was taken by a Japanese businessman from the window of his passing taxi. According to the photographer, there were about twenty more trucks loaded with prisoners following in this public display of punishment. (AP Photo)

“Beijing authorities were no doubt thrilled with Trudeau’s account of Maoist China. On the eve of his son Justin’s rise into national politics, a Chinese government-controlled publishing house released a Chinese-language version of the book,” Schweizer writes. “The book was launched at a lavish press conference in Shanghai with coauthor Jacques Hébert and Alexandre Trudeau, Justin’s younger brother, fielding questions from fifty Chinese journalists.”

Alexandre Trudeau has since become an official Chinese government propagandist, releasing a book copying his father’s style in 2016.

The government’s role in promoting the Trudeau family as Justin’s career launched became the subject of controversy in China after another Chinese publisher, Yilin Press, published The Legend Continues, an alleged memoir by Justin Trudeau, following his rise to prime minister.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a conference of the Canada-China Business Council in Montreal on September 23, 2016, during the visit of Chinese premier Li Keqiang. (CLEMENT SABOURIN/AFP via Getty Images)

“Curiously, some of Trudeau’s national security aides were not even aware that the rights to his memoir had been sold to Beijing, not ending out until 2021, after being contacted by the media,” Schweizer documents:

“I think what gets me is that this is all being sponsored by the propaganda department,” said Richard McFadden, a former Trudeau advisor who also served as the head of the Canadian intelligence service.

Trudeau’s aides would later explain that all profits from the book were going to the Red Cross. But the Globe and Mail newspaper could not con rm that claim with either the publisher or the Red Cross.

Trudeau has recently faced global criticism for his invocation of the Emergency Act, a never-before-used law to subdue terrorism and violent uprisings, against the peaceful Freedom Convoy movement, which is demanding an end to all coronavirus-related civil rights abuses by the Canadian state. Amid his call for police to violently vacate the protests in the national capital, Ottawa, video resurfaced of a pre-prime minister Trudeau praising China’s authoritarianism.

Sun News, CBC News

“There’s a level of admiration I actually have for China,” Trudeau said during a town hall in 2013. “Because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime and saying ‘We need to go greenest fastest, we need to start, you know, investing in solar.’”

Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win, published by Harper-Collins is now available.


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