Meng Wanzhou case a test for how much Canada values China ties: experts

By Wan Lin Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/6 18:36:22

Meng wanzhou

China's recent reiteration of its stance on the detention of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is a message to Ottawa that China still values its long-standing relations with Canada, and the handling of Meng's case will serve as a key indicator of whether Ottawa will prioritize the mutual interests of the two countries, independent of the US influence in its future relations with China, experts said, following a statement issued by the Chinese embassy in Canada on Sunday that said Meng's detention is the main obstacle to the current China-Canada relations.

The Chinese ambassador to Canada, Cong Peiwu, made the comments during an interview with Canadian newspaper La Presse on Tuesday, in which he noted that the healthy foundation of the two countries'  relations has been seriously damaged in recent years, and urged Canada to release Meng soon to bring bilateral relations back on track. 

The Canadian government has known from the beginning the high political nature of Meng's arrest, which is a grave political event concocted by the US to suppress China's high-tech enterprises. But the country still committed a serious misstep by acting as an accomplice of the US, which has left China-Canada relations stuck in trouble, Cong said.

Cong's remarks echoed those of Lu Kang, director-general of the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, who disclosed on Friday that Canada was the only country among "dozens" of "American allies" that accepted the US request to detain Meng.

At a meeting with Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Fran?ois-Philippe Champagne on August 26 during his trip to Europe, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi also called on the Canadian government to make the correct choice on Meng to eliminate obstacles between the two countries.  

The trial of Meng's case will be reopened in late September. 

Observers believe that China's recent reiteration of its stance on Meng's detention is a reminder to Canada that China is still willing to maintain the past healthy relationship with Canada and to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the future as long as the country can handle Meng's case based on fairness and justice. 

"China has sent a message to Ottawa that the trial of Meng case will be an important test of whether Canada will equally value its relations with China and make decisions independent of the US' influence on various issues in the future," Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Sunday. 

Meng was detained in Vancouver in December, 2018, after the US issued a warrant for her arrest over bank and wire fraud, which was later refuted by Huawei in July by providing evidence showing that HSBC, the bank that the US accused Meng of defrauding, actually conspired with the US to set a "political trap" for the company and gave false testimony to the court. 

"The Chinese government's recent voices are also urging the Canadian judiciary to reveal more impartial and objective information of the case so that Canadian society, media and people around the world can know the truth," Li noted. 

In the interview, the ambassador Cong Peiwu also stressed that the issues of Hong Kong and Xinjiang are completely China's internal affairs that no other foreign countries have the right to interfere in, responding to Ottawa's previous reckless comments and actions on the issues, including a suspension of the extradition treaty with Hong Kong and a ban on exports of sensitive military items to the city in July. 

Cong said the enactment of the national security law for Hong Kong was to ensure the stability and long-term development of the "one country, two systems" principle, and the so-called "detention of millions of Muslims" in Xinjiang is not only fake news, but also the "lie of the century."

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