Time for Canada to show courage and wisdom

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/27 13:25:32

Relations between China and Canada have been estranged since Canada detained Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's chief financial officer, in December last year. At this sensitive time in relations between the two countries, Canadian companies should be cautious about their exports to China. 

But some Canadian companies were found to export pork with ractopamine residues to China. Moreover, they even fabricated 188 veterinary health certificates.

Ractopamine is similar to clenbuterol, an illegal additive in pig feed used to keep meat lean.  Excessive consumption of such meat causes different kinds of toxic reactions in the human body, directly causing harm. 

Falsifying certificates is a crime in every country. The Chinese government has suspended the import of Canadian pork. This is in line with international norms and China's foreign trade regulations.

Some Canadians see China's earlier ban on Canadian canola and now pork as a deliberate attempt to find fault with a country it has fallen out with. They need to resist such thoughts. Some Canadian companies that export canola to China have had their licenses revoked because of the discovery of quarantine pests. This shows there are some obvious loopholes in the export regulatory system of Canadian products. 

Public opinion in Canada should target enterprises that forge certificates or deliberately export substandard products. If Canada politicizes the trade issue to blame China and escalate tensions, it will be hard for relations to turn around. 

According to the South China Morning Post on June 23, David Mulroney, former Canadian ambassador to China, attributed the setback in relations to "China's obvious disdain for a rules-based international order," claiming that Canada will join the US in seeking to uphold the rules-based international order. His words probably represent the views of some people in Canada.

But the former ambassador's description of what Canada does as required by its "allies chief" as a matter of international rules reflects his distorted view of international order. Who Canada allies with and how it is accountable to them is a Canadian matter, not an international one.

The US is abusing its legal system to crack down on Huawei across the board, which violates international rules. At this point, if the Canadians still insist that their arrest of Meng is right from a judicial standpoint, this is no longer a matter of value judgment, but of honesty and integrity.

Getting into confrontation with China by closing ranks with allies is a cold war mind-set and will not only hurt Canada's judicial independence and dignity, but also lead to mistakes that may undermine the international order. If Canada wants to bind itself unconditionally to the US, it will face the consequences.

The problem has been caused by the Canadian side, so the move to solve the problem needs to be made by Canada. The North American nation has no dearth of sensible politicians and diplomats who have offered feasible solutions on different occasions. It is time for the Canadian government to muster courage to right the wrongs. 

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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