fredag 28. desember 2018

David Mulroney: We must finally see China for what it truly is

What a difference a year makes. In December, 2017, Canada’s biggest foreign policy problem was the Prime Minister’s failure to persuade China to accept a progressive trade agreement, one that included commitments relating to labour, gender and the environment. In December, 2018, we are facing China’s fury for complying with a U.S. request to arrest Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of the Chinese telecom firm Huawei, an act that has already cost Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor their freedom.

Although the punishment China is meting out to us is cruel, it is, sadly, not unusual. Australia, Britain and Sweden have seen their nationals detained by Beijing on similarly flimsy pretexts. Nor is the experience new to us. In 2014, Canadians Kevin and Julia Garratt were imprisoned in the wake of Canada’s decision to extradite Chinese citizen Su Bin to the United States, where he admitted to having stolen military secrets. Julia Garratt was released in January, 2015, while her husband would spend 19 months in detention.