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Home / World / "Alone in the World": Canada is being crushed by superpowers in Huawei's quarrel

"Alone in the World": Canada is being crushed by superpowers in Huawei's quarrel



  Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang (R) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

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Getty Images

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Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang (R) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

The arrest of Chinese Telecoms Executive Meng Wanzhou at Washington's request brought China-Canada relations into crisis. What options does Canada have between two superpowers?

When Wenran Jiang heard the news that Canada had arrested Huawei CEO Meng Wanzhou, he knew it was causing trouble.

Speaking in a Canadian National Newspaper, he called for all sides to cool off, said the BBC staff member of the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia.

"This was literally the second day the news appeared because I knew it was not easy to navigate."

He predicted that the arrest of senior Chinese executives on December 1

would "get the snowball out of control" and "permanently damage a sensitive relationship between Canada, China, and the US."

The US is demanding Ms. Meng's extradition for violating US sanctions against Iran through Huawei's business, which she and the company are denying.

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Soon after Ms. Meng – who is also the daughter of Huawei billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei – was arrested, China demanded the release of Canada or its consequences.

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Reuters

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A man holding a sign outside the cash hearing of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou

Within days, two Canadians, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor, were arrested in China for "national security".

"Freezing" that could take years

Many analysts believe that they are arrests.

"[Chinese officials] denied [detention of] that two Canadians are related, but of course no one believes it is unrelated, no one believes it to be purely coincidental," Jiang Jiang told the BBC.

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A third Canadian citizen was arrested this week, although Canadian officials believe the latest incident does not seem to be directly related to the Huawei dispute.

The diplomatic conflict also affected Canadian business interests.

The Canadian Automotive Suppliers Association has been investing in Chinese automakers for more than two years, but mutual interest has abated.

"They told us that they will continue due diligence, but every manufacturing decision will have to await resolution [of Ms Meng’s case]," said Flavio Volpe, president of the organization, to the BBC. 19659007] "And they talk about a freeze that could be years and not weeks."

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Reuters

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The flags of Canada and China fly side by side at a meeting in Beijing

The parka manufacturer Canada Goose was also affected. He announced that the planned opening of his first store in China is being postponed in the midst of public anger over Ms. Meng's arrest.

The Global Times – the state-sponsored Chinese newspaper – has warned that "Canada's agriculture and forestry could be next in line to feel the pain of China's poor relations."

"We're going into a pretty deep valley"

David Mulroney, a former Canadian diplomat from China, says the relationship between the two countries has always had an up and down.

But he says, "We're going into a pretty deep valley and I think we'll be in there for some time".

He also said Canada has created a "practical scapegoat" for China to "kick and punch" for the arrest as it prepares its trade dispute with the US.

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Canada's crisis management tactic states that there has been no political interference in Ms. Meng's arrest and that the extradition proceedings have taken place in accordance with the rule of law ,

This is a vocation that China has rejected so far.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying was asked on Tuesday after recent remarks by Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and her American counterpart Mike Pompeo.

Ms. Hua, who described Ms. Meng's detention as "illegal," said that "any worthy excuse that they could use, or what" legitimate "cloak they want to wear, they will be for all this blatant disregard of the facts and the Contempt to be ridiculed the rule of law ".

Regarding Canada's diplomatic efforts, Mr. Jiang said, "You can not repeat the same line if the other party does not even accept the legitimacy of this statement."

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Reuters

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A family passes by a Canada Goose store in Beijing. The opening of the shop has been delayed.

He says some things have fueled China's skepticism and tarnished Canada's message.

First remarks by US President Donald Trump last week that he could intervene in the case of Huawei's executive if he helps to avoid further decline in US relations with China.

Mr. Jiang said China is frustrated by reports of efforts by Australia, the US, Canada, New Zealand and British intelligence agencies to block Huawei, one of its leading tech companies, for the next generation of 5G wireless devices. Supply networks for security reasons.

He also said that Chinese officials have taken note of criticism, including from the American economist Jeffrey Sachs, regarding the United States' request for extradition of Ms. Meng for violating US sanctions against Iran.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is working for its citizens in difficulty abroad "by applying a set of robust principles in the rule of law and respecting the rule of law around the world".

He reiterated questions from journalists as to whether it was time for Canada to tackle this diplomatic crisis.

"In many cases, escalation or very strong political statements can actually bring to the goal, namely the liberation of Canadians, the Canadians home, to safety," he said.

Canada "Alone"

Former diplomat Mulroney says that Canada now has few opportunities to run the legal process for extradition.

"We are in a terrible situation, but we must have the courage to continue to focus on the right thing and continue to make our case, not just in Beijing, but with many like-minded countries," he said.

Former Canadian Secretary of State John Manley told the BBC in the meantime that "Canada is in the world alone".

"I do not know what the United States offers us in return for this pain, and the tariffs on steel and aluminum and coniferous wood are still there," he said.

Both he and Mr. Jiang suggest that Canadian officials should scrutinize the merits of the US extradition case, especially after Mr. Trump's remarks suggest that he would intervene if he did Trade agreement with China.

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"I think we need to make a good assessment of what's in our favor in this case," Manley said.

And Mr. Jiang says the case has gone beyond the statements that Canada is merely meeting his extradition obligations.

He suggests that Mr. Trudeau contact Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang to discuss the dispute directly, and Ms. Freeland offers to fly to Beijing if necessary, to explain the case that it is not part of it a conspiracy with the US as a Chinese official is accused.

Mr. Jiang said it may be possible to set up a crisis group between countries to ensure diplomatic communication both in the case of Ms. Meng and in relation to the Canadians who are currently in Chinese custody.

Ms. Meng, who was released on bail, will appear next in court on February 6.


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