No solution to China impasse without Trump: former Harper advisor

An advisor to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper says being nicer to U.S. President Donald Trump is better than following the advice from former PMs on easing tensions with China.

Jason Unrau Montreal QC

An advisor to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper says being nicer to U.S. President Donald Trump is better than following the advice from former PMs on easing tensions with China.

“Here we have a situation where ex-prime minister Chrétien thinks we should obliterate Canada’s rule of law to come to some solution and another prime minister basically saying the same thing,” Manny Montenegrino told The Post Millennial.

“A solution without president Trump in the conversation is folly; the answer is the United States, but it’s not politically feasible for those who want the Trump-hate vote in Canada. So instead, let’s destroy Canada’s rule of law. It’s incredible.”

According to anonymous sources who spoke to The Globe and Mail, Jean Chrétien thinks Canada should release Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou to restore relations with China and end the communist state’s attacks on our citizens and economy.

A week ago, purported ‘Trump whisperer’ Brian Mulroney told Canadian Press that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should dispatch Chrétien and some other Sino-friendlies to work things out with the regime.

The current diplomatic disaster unfolding between China and Canada began after RCMP officers arrested Meng in December 1, 2018 while she was transiting through Vancouver International Airport.

She remains under house arrest and faces extradition to the U.S. for alleged violations of American sanctions on Iran involving bank fraud and wire fraud and conspiracy.  The charges allege that Huawei did business in Iran via its Skycom subsidiary.

In the days following her arrest, China detained Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor and have since accused the pair of espionage.

By March, relations with China further deteriorated after it suspended Canadian canola imports which threaten to strand $2.7 billion, or 40 percent of annual production.

The country flexed its diplomatic muscles again just last month,  suspending import permits for a pair of major pork producers in Québec.

“President Trump was the solution. No one can doubt that one telephone call from Trump would have those Canadians at home,” said Montenegrino. “But he’s not making the call. Because he sustained years of insults and backstabbing.”

Given Canada’s current three-way diplomatic predicament, Montenegrino said Trudeau risks credibility on the world stage and worse, the safety of Canadians living or travelling abroad by letting Meng off the hook.

“We’ve had our prime minister for eight months telling Canadians, telling the world, that we are a rule of law country and he stuck flag upon that point,” said Montenegrino. “How many more extortions by other countries will you have if you ignore your rule of law?”

Montenegrino said Canada should stop telling sovereign states how to run their internal affairs and resist passive-aggressive cheap shots at the Trump administration, and by extension our most important ally.

“You have the foreign minister going to a conference labelling the president a tyrant. How do you expect the United States to come to our aid when we’ve done that?” he said. “Put some water in your wine. You may not like Trump as a person, but he happens to lead a nation that can help Canada.”

Freeland conducts bookclub statecraft in Toronto last September with New Yorker Reporter Masha Gessen & Indigo CEO Heather Reisman.

The former Harper advisor also put some blame on the media for pushing the anti-Trump narrative for the last three years.

“We’ve got to put the brakes on the Trump hate in Canada and I think Trump would embrace us. He’s a fighter. If you punch him, he’ll punch you back. But if you stop punching him, he’ll be your friend.”

As for whether Trudeau would follow Chrétien’s advice on Meng, Montenegrino said, “There’s a lot of wrong with that idea right now. Mainly because our American friends will be very upset, and they’re the ones who can get us through this.”

He also noted that Trump has not been invited for an official state dinner in Canada, typically the first foreign engagement for a new U.S. president.  Trudeau will meet with Trump in Washington D.C. on June 20, ahead of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.


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