Canadian envoy's apology shows ‘political correctness’ subverts rule of law

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/1/25 23:30:55

Canadian Ambassador to China John McCallum admitted on Thursday that he misspoke on the case of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou by suggesting that she had a strong case to fight extradition to the US. 

McCallum made the initial statement in a meeting with Chinese-language media. He said Meng had three strong arguments to oppose US extradition, including Trump's statement on "political involvement" and that "there's the issue of Iran sanctions in her case and Canada did not sign on to these sanctions." 

McCallum soon faced severe backlash from some Canadian media and politicians. The opposition party even demanded his resignation. Under such pressure, he rescinded his earlier comments, saying he regretted that his comments created confusion and that there has been no political involvement in this process.

This incident surrounding McCallum clearly shows the enormous political pressure involved in Meng's case. McCallum's initial statement was based on analysis of legal and factual proceedings, but due to "political incorrectness," Canada's political and opinion circles launched a withering attack on him.

This is how Canada, a country ruled by law, is not supposed to behave. It is politically-oriented under the guise of law. After the ambassador made an analysis favorable to Meng, he apologized soon after. Does it mean the Canadian court is not considering other options than to extradite Meng to the US? Is it all about the so-called rule of law and free speech?

Western political correctness carries too much weight. After Meng was arrested, US scholar Jeffrey David Sachs published an article criticizing US suppression of Huawei, and he was severely attacked by US academics and opinion makers. He was forced to delete his Twitter account, and some Western elite applauded it.

We hope Meng's case is a purely legal one as the US claims. It is hoped that its pronouncement can have some restraint on the trial. However, the backlash McCallum encountered made us see the opposite. We hope the Canadian court could stick to the rule of law and be immune from politicians and media who attacked McCallum.

In North America, extremism was once associated with political correctness. In terms of China's high-tech companies, such an association has disconcertingly reappeared. China's high-tech industry, which has been flourishing in the past few decades and the country which has not been involved in a war for a long time, are absurdly said to be a threat to the world. We don't know when North America would wake up. It is hoped that the Canadian elite can have the moral and rational ability to reflect on the abovementioned association between extremism and political correctness.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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