Ambassador Ottawa—China to Canada said that Canadians should be prepared to retaliate after Ottawa protested the crackdown on security in Asia in Hong Kong.
In an exclusive interview with the star, Cong Peiwu, the Ambassador accused the liberal government “interference in China’s internal Affairs” by suspending the Canada-Germany extradition Treaty, Hong Kong and the cessation of military and “dual-use” exports to the city.
Kong was Reaffirming and reinforcing the official line from Beijing. On Monday, said the official representative of the foreign Ministry of China denounced the response of Canada, “reserves the right for further response,” and warned that Canada would “bear the consequences”.
“I would suggest you just to wait and see,” Kong said when asked what specific “consequences” Beijing regards.
“As I said, we are resolute in protecting our national security and sovereignty. We will not just sit idly by”.
It was another in a growing list of warnings and retaliatory action against Canada by the Chinese government, which faced international condemnation over the new draconian national security act imposed on Hong Kong. The new law, which came into force last week, Beijing gives more power to suppress political dissent and to restrict the activities of non-governmental organizations, the media and foreign governments in Hong Kong.
The government of Canada condemned the crackdown, and on Friday announced the suspension of its extradition agreement with Hong Kong, as well as military or “dual-use” exports — for example, equipment used by the police to suppress Pro-democracy demonstrations in the city.
The canadian Minister of foreign Affairs, françois-Philippe champagne, has accused the Chinese government of “coercive diplomacy” and “arbitrary detention” — a reference to Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians who are languishing in Chinese detention for more than 570 days and now face charges of espionage. Largely seen as retribution, they were detained by Chinese authorities a few days after canadian police arrested the Executive of Huawei Meng Wanzhou in December 2018.
But aggressive diplomatic stance of Beijing gives a lower return, according to Margaret Mccuaig Johnstone, a Professor at the University of Ottawa and a former public servant who worked for Canada-China relations.
Mccuaig Johnstone said that China took a similar approach with allies of Canada, including the UK, USA, France, Germany, and others — trying to mute the criticism on everything from human rights to Huawei in Hong Kong.
“I think they’re overplaying their hand,” Mccuaig Johnstone said in an interview.
“Western countries are not enthusiastic about such threats. That is why some threats are very specific, as a threat to Germany’s car industry, if they don’t (allow) and Huawei (in 5G networks), threatening to stop work on nuclear reactors and high-speed rail system in the UK”
“For countries such as Canada, there are quite a few ways they can hurt us through their companies, kidnapping of our citizens … but I think Canada and other countries to work more closely together to cooperate on common approaches,” Mccuaig-Johnston said.
Champagne told the star in an interview Friday that Ottawa is working on a new “framework” for Canada-China relations, based on “clear rules and standards,” “canadian interests” and “values and principles, including human rights”.
But the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government have repeatedly stated that the liberation Spavor and Kovrig is their main priority.
Arrested shortly after his arrest, Meng, were both detained without charge for more than a year. In June, Chinese authorities announced both men will be charged with stealing state secrets.
Man faces possible extradition to the U.S., where a powerful Executive Telekom is wanted on charges of fraud.
On Tuesday, Kong repeated the line from the Chinese government, suggesting that “facts” cases against Kovrig and Spavor was clear — despite the Chinese authorities released almost no “facts” that two men allegedly made.
Kovrig and extended the period of detention Spavor — it may still be years before they face trial — prompted some prominent canadian politicians and legal thinkers to argue that Canada should participate in a “prisoner exchange:” the two Michaels in Meng. Others, including former canadian Ambassador to China, David Mulroney, claimed that will contribute to a more “hostage diplomacy” of Beijing.
Repeatedly asked about the issue on Tuesday, Kong kept coming back to the fact that China regards as a “political” nature of the allegations of fraud Meng.
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“So my proposal and I hope that the canadian side will reflect on its policies and take measures to correct political decision (a) as soon as possible to see the man,” said Kong.
“Because we believe that the main obstacle in our bilateral relations. So, we can take our relationship to the rails.”
When asked if Canadians should take this to mean releasing Meng would put an end to China’s response, Kong said, “if Canada is taking steps to remove the main obstacle, with Meng case, it helps that our relations were in their places, and this contributes to the great potential of our cooperation.”
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