torsdag 31. januar 2019

Globe editorial: With Meng affair, China shows its true face to the world

The showdown between Canada and China over the arrest of Meng Wanzhou has mostly been discussed in Canada in terms of the relationship of between the two countries. That makes sense, of course.

The affair raises important domestic questions. But the arrest of Ms. Meng in December and China’s subsequent reaction need also to be understood in the context of the Chinese government’s ambitions in the wider world. 

In many ways, this is not about Canada, or not only about Canada. It’s about Beijing’s determination to tilt the international order in its favour.

China’s decisions to detain two Canadians and subject them to conditions that are nothing less than torture, and to arbitrarily sentence to death a Canadian man serving a 15-year drug-smuggling sentence in a China prison, were intended as a harbinger of the future, and are being seen as such. 

The regime wants other countries to know that they will pay a price if they cross Beijing. The message received has been somewhat different: This is how Beijing will behave as its influence and power increase.