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Tourists walk along a section of the Great Wall of China on the outskirts of Beijing, on Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. Tit-for-tat travel warnings from Canadian and Chinese governments amid a growing diplomatic rift may be prompting potential tourists into rethinking vacation plans.Mark Schiefelbein/The Associated Press

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com

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China, Canada, caution

It’s clear from news items in Thursday’s Globe and Mail (China Detains Canadian Family As Huawei Spat Escalates; U.S. Probes Huawei Over Alleged Trade-Secret Thefts) just how increasingly dangerous and threatening it has become to travel to, or do business in, China. “Our little middle power of a country,” as you describe Canada, needs to look elsewhere to secure predictable and safe trading relationships (A Global Schoolyard, Full Of Bullies – editorial, Jan. 17). Wooing China is just not worth it.

Chris Gates, Quinte West, Ont.

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At this difficult time for Canada in the world, this is the kind and quality of editorial I wish every Canadian would read and reflect upon. And reflect, too, not only on how we as a middle power should work internationally, but also on how we as Canadians should work together as and for all Canadians, and not first for political gain.

Jack Blaney, Vancouver

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China is detaining Muslims in camps, persecuting Christians, and declaring that the lives of Canadians are now fair game to make its point. These are not the actions of a strong, confident government; these are the actions of a regime afraid of its own people and the world at large. Tyrannies collapse: It’s never a matter of if, simply when. The worse they behave, the sooner that time comes.

Christopher White, Whitby, Ont.

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Re Canadian’s Sentence Spurs Debate In China (Jan. 17): The international outcry over Canadian Robert Schellenberg’s death sentence for drug trafficking prompted China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson to defend her country’s draconian stance: “We won’t allow drug dealers from any other country to harm the lives of Chinese people.” But China is content to look the other way as its criminals produce and traffic vast quantities of fentanyl that ravage a generation of Canada’s youth.

George Horhota, Toronto

A Canadian is …

Re Liberal Candidate Resigns Over Social Media Post (Jan. 17): Multiculturalism has rightly taken root in our society, but the Burnaby South candidate’s claim of being “the only Chinese” candidate in the federal by-election illustrates our politics are off track. The cynical politics that seek “ethnic” candidates in many ridings across the country to gain voter support from “ethnic” populations betray the supposed belief that a Canadian, is a Canadian, is a Canadian.

The Burnaby South by-election is a glaring example of shabby racialized politics. This is compounded in that the Liberals do not stand alone in this practice in that riding or in others.

Greg Schmidt, Calgary

Brexit barrel roll

Re May Wins Confidence Vote, Chaos Continues (Jan. 17): Theresa May and the country would have been better off if the vote of no confidence had succeeded, almost certainly triggering an election fought on Brexit. Instead, the farce, as you so aptly described it, continues (The Brexit Farce Just Got Turned Up To 11, Jan. 16).

Laura Andrews, Montreal

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Referendums are dangerous: The general public – whose members do not have objective and full knowledge of a subject – is asked to make an uninformed decision. Parliamentarians have the time to make informed, knowledgeable decisions on behalf of constituents. This is their job. British MPs need to say yes or no to Brexit in an immediate and binding vote.

Ron Mighton, Oakville, Ont.

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There is only one way out of this impasse: A referendum on a referendum about whether to hold a second referendum.

Michael Betcherman, Toronto

Thalidomide’s reach

Re Ottawa Expands Thalidomide Compensation (Jan. 10): While seal-like arms and legs were the horrific signature signs of thalidomide, other consequences included brain damage, learning disabilities, heart defects, nerve damage and stillbirth. The number of Canadian thalidomide babies was likely far higher than could be proven in terms of legal liability.

Cheryl Krasnick Warsh, Professor of History, Vancouver Island University

The pulpit of gender

Re Gillette’s Poke At Masculinity Is Barely A Nick (Jan. 17): Do we really need Gillette, or any advertiser, to preach to us from the pulpit of gender equity and inclusivity?

If so, pity us. Let’s be clear: As far as Gillette is concerned, the only thing toxic about masculinity is men opting to grow a beard, and men who like hirsute features on women. Gillette’s other concern of course is that women might by some miracle twig to the fact that cheaper blue razors work just as well as the pink ones.

Kope Inokai, Toronto

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The Gillette ad is a caricature of masculinity. It’s no wonder many men find it condescending when the rhetorical mode is shame. Shame does little to motivate, but much to build resentment.

The American Psychological Association has released 10 guidelines for treating men and boys. The first half explains how “traditional masculinity” is pathological. Absent are its virtues, as if masculinity is rotten to the core. The APA is surprised that men object? What emerges in the second half is that strong fathers are the cure. Paradoxically, this is not deemed traditional. What is more traditional than fatherhood? The cure, it would seem, is homeo-pathic. It is the absence of masculinity that dooms our boys to prison, violence, and addictions.

Dan Moore, Peterborough, Ont.

Wall-to-wall challenge

Re Why I’m Not Writing Off Trump’s Wall Just Yet (Jan. 14): While visiting the Great Wall of China a few years ago, I was amazed by the sheer size and architectural beauty of the wall, which snakes through the countryside for thousands of miles.

Constructed mainly of earth and stone, it has a thick brick facing. With a height in places of 14 metres, and watchtowers, the wall looks formidable at first sight. Passages run between indented parapets on the wall’s ridge.

Walking along the parapet, I wondered at the naïveté of the Chinese to think the wall could stop anyone determined to scale it with simple ropes or ladders. The Mongols did exactly that in remote areas to conquer China; they also destroyed parts of the wall with hammers.

Restored sections now serve as a tourist attraction.

Similarly, Donald Trump’s wall, if it is ever built along the border with Mexico, will not stop those determined to get past it. The hundreds of miles of Mr. Trump’s Great Wall of America may well face the fate of China’s Great Wall.

Mahmood Elahi, Ottawa

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The best win-win solution for Donald Trump and America would be if the Mueller report suggested offering Mr. Trump four walls instead of one.

Giselle Déziel, Cornwall, PEI

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