Last week, mainstream Canadian media, including the National Post, published articles that criticized the Canadian government for “keep silence on the Hong Kong issue.” On November 27, Canadian MPs Kenny Chiu and Garnett Genuis held a “Hong Kong Critical Moment” seminar with the non-profit organization “Hong Kong Watch” established in the UK. During the meeting, Aileen Calverley, co-founder of “Hong Kong Monitoring”, suggested that the Canadian Parliament use the Magnitsky Act similar to the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Act to sanction Hong Kong officials and police officers who violate human rights. Most Canadian cross-party MPs have expressed support.
At the same time, the annual “Halifax International Security Conference” was held on November 22 in Halifax, Canada. Former member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council and the Democratic Party ’s International Affairs Committee, Emily Lau attended and questioned the Canadian government ’s attitude toward China, while U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien addressed the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei It is likened to a “Trojan horse”, urging Canada not to use Huawei’s 5G technology.
For a while, the dispute between China and Canada over Huawei Meng Wanzhou and 5G construction was particularly outstanding, and the Canadian government was criticized by some public opinion because of the Hong Kong situation. At this time, the government of Justin Trudeau has not changed the conservative attitude of the past.
Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan, who was attending the Halifax International Security Conference, said at the time, “We need time to properly check all potential threats.” Although China detains two Canadians at will, China is not an enemy. The two countries still cooperate in trade.
The Canadian Foreign Secretary’s press secretary did not respond directly to the Global Post’s inquiry about the Magnitsky Act last week, saying that Canada is very concerned about the situation in Hong Kong, especially the recent rise in violence. Foreign Minister Shang Pengfei ( (François-Philippe Champagne) also raised the incident face-to-face with the Chinese side, arguing that the current priority is to show restraint and reject violence, calling for urgent measures to downgrade the situation.
And Shang Pengfei also told the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya, Japan on November 23, that handling two detained Canadian citizens is “a matter of urgency”. At present, there are differences and difficulties between the two countries. Look at and handle related issues from a longer-term perspective, take practical measures to rebuild mutual trust, and push Canada-China relations back on track as soon as possible. Wang Yi expressed the hope that the new Canadian government will proceed from upholding international fairness and justice and the basic norms of international relations, make correct decisions as soon as possible, take practical measures to overcome this artificially created obstacle, and push China-Canada relations back to the normal development track as soon as possible.
Trudeau himself was even more cautious. Focusing on the issue of Huawei, its government previously postponed its decision on whether to use Huawei’s 5G network technology until after the federal election on October 21, but Trudeau did not actively comment on the matter after the victory. Focusing on the situation in Hong Kong, when Trudeau was asked about his attitude to relevant US bills on November 20, he only said, “We are closely watching the situation, calling for reducing violent conflict, respecting the rule of law and human rights. Of course, we will look at our international partners doing what.”
Obviously, the Canadian government is under a lot of pressure. In addition to public opinion criticizing the government for being “too weak,” another voice is also putting pressure on the government. Goldy Hyder, chairman of the Canadian Business Council, composed of a number of large Canadian companies, called on behalf of the Canadian industry on November 21 to urge the Chinese and Canadian governments to avoid escalation, emphasizing that Canada cannot be without China, “without China there can be no trade diversification” . According to a report by the Global Post on November 12, two major Canadian security agencies have serious differences on Huawei and 5G issues. The Security Intelligence Agency (CSIS) insists on banning the use of Huawei equipment in its 5G networks, while the Communications Security Center ( (CSE), however, believes that after testing and monitoring Huawei 5G equipment, security risks can be eliminated.
One year ago, Canadian police detained Meng Wanzhou, who was in transit via Vancouver, on December 1 in response to a request by the United States for extradition. A few days later, former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor were arrested in China, and a few months later on suspicion of “spying national secrets and intelligence for overseas purposes” and suspecting of “theft for overseas purposes” “Illegal provision of state secret crimes” was formally arrested on the grounds that it was “illegal to provide state secrets.” In addition, Canadian rapeseed oil was suspended by China for “harmful organisms detected” earlier this year, and Canadian pork and beef were also banned for “fake export licenses.” A series of events plunged relations between the two countries into the lowest point since the “Tiananmen June 4th Incident” in 1989.
It is worth noting that Trudeau said on November 5 that China would resume importing Canadian beef and pork. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs subsequently confirmed that Canada has addressed China’s security concerns regarding imported meat and proposed a corrective plan. China has approved the resumption of meat imports from Canada and urged the Canadian government to release Meng Wanzhou immediately. After months of stalemate in relations between the two countries, it seems that we finally have the opportunity to relax. It can be predicted that the Canadian government will handle the relations with China more cautiously in the coming months.
Canadian official media CBC has published a series of reports since Wednesday, thinking that the world is being changed by China and examining its impact on Canada. The report states that “China is Canada’s largest trading partner except the United States. Government and business leaders are looking forward to maintaining trade and investment opportunities in these 1.4 billion markets, and ordinary Canadians are also connected. The two countries have strong cultural ties, and the Chinese are Canadian The largest minority group is closely connected with the two countries in many fields such as employment, agriculture, commerce, and tourism. Take Huawei as an example. The company “is already closely connected with Canadian business, technology, and consumer culture. It is the leader of Canadian telecommunications. Telus and Bell’s key equipment providers, whose electronic equipment, including mobile phones, are widely used by consumers, and provide research funding for research institutions in many universities in Canada … Engagement? Both come with risks and rewards. “
Obviously, “China” has become an increasingly heated debate in Canada.