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Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan believes China is not an adversary to Canada, despite rising and consistent tensions between the two countries.
While addressing a crowd at the Halifax International Security Forum in Halifax, Sajjan noted that the detention of two Canadian citizens in China was unwarranted, but that the relationship with China is still needed for co-operation on trade, according to AP.
Tensions initially rose late last year and in early 2019 upon the arrest of Huawei CFO and Chinese tech-royalty Meng Wanzhou, who has been out on bail at her Vancouver-area home since her arrest last December on an extradition request from the United States.
Following the arrest, China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor to pressure Canada to release Wanzhou.
In January 2019, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, a Canadian national, was sentenced to death after an unwarranted retrial. The sentence was considered a massive strike to relations between Canada and China.
Another Canadian citizen was given the death sentence in April of 2019 for similar charges. Fan Wei, along with 11 other men, were all given criminal charges, though Wei was the only one given the death penalty.