U.S.-China Huawei Feud Hurts Canada’s Relations with Beijing

Canada has found itself in the middle of the U.S.-China spat over the detained Huawei CFO, Meng Wanzhou, with calls by Beijing for the release of Meng and the U.S. trying to use her detention as a bargaining chip in its trade talks with China.

In the meantime, Canadian companies doing business with China are preparing for lower sales and even a boycott of Canadian products.

The CFO’s arrest has put the government in a difficult situation as it is trying to honor its law enforcement agreement with the United States while President Donald Trump is indicating he could drop the Meng case in exchange for a deal with Beijing.

Chinese state-run media continues to maintain the arrest is politically motivated, and President Trump remains determined to politicize the arrest, thus breaching U.S. practice separating politics and issues of the law and complicating matters for Canada even further.

Canada’s refusal to release Meng has fueled outrage in China, which has made multiple appeals to the government to release the Huawei financial director.

“The Chinese side strongly urges Canada to immediately rectify its mistakes, and release the detained Chinese citizen and truly guarantee their relevant legal and just rights,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying over the weekend. “We strongly urge the U.S. to revoke the relevant person’s arrest warrant immediately.”

Last week, Trump said he would intervene in the case if that guarantees the U.S. and China can reach a trade agreement. Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said the following day that Washington should not seek to politicize the arrest.

Complicating the situation additionally are the arrests of two Canadian citizens in China shortly after that of Meng’s. Beijing appears to direct its anger toward Canada, which has been interpreted as an impulsive move signaling that China is “not interested in building any political capital with Canada.”

It seems, for now, that as long as Canada refuses to release Meng its relations with China will only get worse. Many in China have already expressed their anger at Canada for detaining the CFO, while the Chinese government has accused Canada of “contempt for the rule of law.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.