More Canadian politicians join campaign to free Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou, piling pressure on Trudeau

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/24 21:28:40

Meng Wanzhou Photo:AFP

An increasing number of Canadian politicians are joining a campaign to release Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, which cites "deteriorating relations with China, and the rise of Sinophobia in Canada," adding pressure on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to rethink his hardline stance against China.

As Meng's extradition hearing progressed on Monday, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable Gurvinder Dhaliwal, who was involved in the arrest of Meng two years ago, testified that they detained Meng without reading the arrest warrant in advance, a source close to the matter told the Global Times.

Meanwhile, he told a Canadian court that they discussed collecting Meng's phone and other electronic devices and putting them in protective bags, but that he did not ask border officials to get passcodes.

Ahead of the second anniversary of Meng's arrest in Canada, Green Party MP Paul Manly and New Democrat MP Niki Ashton will be speaking at the online panel discussion to Free Meng Wanzhou on Tuesday (Canadian time), as Meng was "unjustly incarcerated by the Trudeau government at the request of the Trump administration," according to a poster for the event.

"You'll learn more from Canadian experts about her legal case, deteriorating relations with China, and the rise of Sinophobia in Canada - plus what you can do about it," read the poster.

Vancouver city councilor Anne Roberts reposted the flyer for the event, saying she was planning to attend the "important" panel meeting to help free Meng.

In addition, Roberts aligned herself with Ashton on the release of Meng and reposted Ashton's view: "We risk both Canada's economy & the two Michael's safety... We stand to lose a great deal by being the tail on the dog of Trump-style, American foreign policy, and jumping on the anti-Chinese bandwagon."

Trudeau's arbitrary move will only result in worsening China-Canada relations, which the Chinese side does not want to see, Zhao Gancheng, a research fellow at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

"As the Trudeau government struggles to climb out of a deep coronavirus recession, an apparent choice on the table is improving relations with China," Zhao said, noting that the handling of the Meng case will be a crucial factor in the future of China-Canada relations.

Although Trudeau continues to adopt tough rhetoric on the matter, he is nevertheless realistic about the fact that Canada will pay a very real price for being Trump's pawn, Zhao added. "Any reckless decision by Trudeau would impact Canada's economy in the long run," he said.

China's imports from Canada stood at $18.03 billion in the first 10 months of the year, plunging 25 percent year-on-year, the biggest drop of any foreign country, data from Chinese customs shows.

The move by Ashton and Manly puts further pressure on Trudeau, who already came under fire from several high-profile Canadians in June when they called for the release of Meng. 

Politico reported that a letter was sent to Trudeau that month with signatories including a former Supreme Court justice, former foreign affairs ministers and former envoys to Washington, all urging the prime minister to "free Meng and end the extradition trial that could send her to the US."

Trudeau dismissed the request, claiming that this would make Canadians around the world "vulnerable."

Meng was arrested on December 1, 2018, at Vancouver International Airport at the request of the US, which is seeking her extradition on fraud charges. Both Meng and Huawei have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Global Times

Newspaper headline: More politicians in Canada push govt to free Meng Wanzhou


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