Per Canada's National Newspaper:
"The China project, from start to finish, was strictly politically driven," Mr. Guité said.
"My problem was, how do I justify a sponsorship . . . to put up money for a project in China?" he added.
"There's not too many sovereigntists in China," a bemused Mr. Justice John Gomery concurred
Mr. Guité said that (Vickers & Benson)CEO John Hayter told him the project had support in the Prime Minister's Office in the wake of the 1994 Team Canada trade mission to China.
Mr. Guité said Mr. Pelletier and Mr. Carle both reviewed the project and gave funding approval.
From 1996 to 1999, documents tabled at the inquiry show, various federal departments put $9.9-million into the series, with Public Works footing the bulk of the bill, with $8.8-million.
The program was supposed to cost Ottawa $3-million, with the rest of the funding coming from private or provincial sources, but the federal government ended up paying the entire bill.
Dashan & Friends had an estimated 20 million viewers in China. In perspective, though, that would translate into 500,000 viewers had it been aired in Canada. We could've done a hell of a lot better sending them Beachcombers reruns.