China warned Canada not to be “naive” and believe the US could solve its bilateral issues.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said Canada “should not naively think its so-called ally will really exert itself on Canada’s behalf.”
He further added, “At most, they (Americans) will move their lips a bit, because, in reality, this is an issue between China and Canada.”
According to Channel News Asia, this insulting comment from China comes after PM Trudeau said he was “confident” US President Trump had brought up the cases of the Canadians detained in China during the G20 summit in Japan.
This is a new low for Trudeau’s foreign policy as relations continue to sour between the two countries. This began with the arrest of Huawei’s CFO, Meng Wangzhou, on the first of December 2018 at the request of US authorities.
While Trudeau claimed that Meng’s arrest included no involvement by federal authorities, the Chinese government claimed otherwise.
Nine days later, China detained two Canadian nationals: Michael Kovrig; and later on Michael Spavor. China warned Canada against extraditing Meng to the US.
However, Canada was caught in the middle as Trump suggested he may consider releasing Meng. Foreign Minister Freeland told media in December that she advised China to release the Canadians, and her statements were echoed by the British Foreign Secretary.
In response, China escalated Canadian national Robert Schellenberg’s 15-year “drug smuggling” jail term to a death sentence.
Furthermore, it began trade bans on Canadian goods. Canola, soybeans, and peas were the first victims; meat soon followed. While Canada has questioned the reasoning for these bans, China cites “health reasons” and calls for Canada to take initiatives to improve relations.
Trudeau responded that he will not step back on legal procedures against Meng, and since then China has refused to talk to any Canadian government officials.
It is clear that Canada was following legal procedures and has been stuck between the lack of communication from Trump.
While Trudeau’s visit to the US resulted in Trump proclaiming, “Anything I can do to help Canada, I will be doing,” his words spoke louder than his actions. Trump did not discuss Canada with China.
It is unclear what other cards Canada has left in its hands as, less than a week ago, Chinese planes “buzzed” Canadian warships in a close encounter.
China’s recent comments are an attempt to prove that Canada is a sheep in a playing field of lions. Releasing Meng will hurt Canada’s reputation; keeping Meng will hurt its economy.
As Canada finds itself in between the bald eagle and the dragon, it must use its beaver-like quick-thinking skills to build a new solution that stops its downward spiral of diplomatic relations. The first step would be to appoint an ambassador to China and throw the ball in China’s court.