Canada must not follow biased few: embassy

By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2019/1/24 0:38:32

Canadians find scare tactics ‘ridiculous’

Photo: VCG


Intergovernmental relations between China and Canada have been impacted recently by some unpleasant issues, but the Chinese side stressed that the "people-to-people and sub-national" exchanges and cooperation should not be harmed and Canadians should not be misled by biased and hostile information about China.

The Chinese Embassy in Canada released a statement on its website on Wednesday in response to Canadian media reports on "the cancellation of a planned trip of the Quebec City mayor."

"According to the information we have, this was not the case. The Chinese side never set obstacles in people-to-people and sub-national exchanges and cooperation between China and Canada," the statement said, as some Canadian media reported that Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume canceled his trip to China in March 2019 because it was "difficult to arrange meetings with Chinese counterparts." 

"We noticed that some people from the Canadian side intentionally created a sense of panic on the grounds of travel safety, aiming to deter or restrain such nongovernmental ties as educational, cultural and sub-national cooperation and people-to-people exchanges between China and Canada. We deeply regret this," the embassy said in the statement. 

After Canada detained Huawei chief financial official Meng Wanzhou in December 2018 and two Canadian citizens were arrested in China due to their illegal activities, the intergovernmental relationship is being impacted but the two sides are taking a very different approach to manage the bilateral relationship at this time, observers said. 

The Chinese government and media don't want frictions or disputes with Canadian counterparts on a very few specific issues to further impact the normal exchanges at the nongovernmental level. On the contrary, Canadian politicians, media and some conservative figures like scholars and former diplomats are trying to exaggerate the impact from one or two specific issues with disputes into other fields, and create a sense of panic to sacrifice normal exchanges between the two peoples to create a hostile image of China, observers noted.

More than 100 scholars and former diplomats are trying to make their people believe that Beijing is retaliating against Ottawa by arresting Canadian citizens indiscriminately, and they even tried to deliver scary messages that any foreigner could be arrested in China because China is "going rogue,?? Canadian media Globe and Mail reported.

Spreading fear

The main reason for these nonsensical opinions is that conservative forces want more people to support their hostile stance against China, said Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing. 

These conservative forces "don't care about the normal exchanges that benefit ordinary people. Unfortunately, many Canadian people haven't been to China to see with their own eyes, so a sense of panic could be expanded," Li told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Some Canadian citizens working, studying or traveling to China found the sense of panic created by conservative forces is nonsense and ridiculous.

Bill Siggins, a Beijing-based Canadian citizen and journalist, told the Global Times on Wednesday, "My friends and family in Canada all seem quite worried about my status in Beijing. I told them everything is ok and no one has ever said a bad thing about my nationality."

"I once made a joke when someone [Chinese] asked where I am from and I said 'I shouldn't say,' and he immediately said 'Oh Canada,' and everyone laughed," Siggins said.

Ordinary Chinese people and netizens are also rational rather than radical on the frictions or disputes between the two countries. 

Christopher Downs, a Canadian actor and TV host popular in China, apologized for what his country did in the case of the Huawei CFO on his Sina Weibo account on December 14, and netizens responded with warm words, saying, "You are a kind person" and "It's not your fault." 

The Chinese Embassy in Canada said that "some unpleasant issues" have indeed happened between the two countries, but the Canadian people should not be held accountable for the consequences, according to the statement. "We don't expect the Canadian public to be misled by the wrong information." 

"China is one of the safest and most hospitable and friendly countries in the world. The Chinese side always welcomes friends from all over the world, including Canadians, to visit China for business or pleasure, and guarantees their safety and legitimate rights and interests in China," the statement noted.

Data from Statistics Canada shows that China is the second largest trade partner of Canada, and by the end of 2017, Canadians invested in or established more than 14,000 companies in China.

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