Canadian media dares not face up to online petition for justice over Meng case
Published: Aug 20, 2021 09:16 PM
Meng Wanzhou Photo: VCG

Meng Wanzhou Photo: VCG

An online petition demanding the immediate release of Meng Wanzhou, Chinese tech company Huawei's chief financial officer, drew more than 10 million signatures from netizens around the world in just over a day. With the number still mounting rapidly, the petition, launched on Wednesday by the Global Times, has also attracted attention from international media outlets such as those from Russia and India. Ridiculously, media of Canada, which illegally detained Meng at the request of the US government in December 2018, mostly turned a blind eye to the petition, as if they dare not face up to the public will and just voices concerning Meng's case. As of press time, only the Globe and Mail published a brief report on the petition, in which it accused the Global Times of not mentioning the cases of the two Michaels.

Why can't the call for justice attract Canadian media's coverage? It could be said that the Canadian media has acted as an accomplice of the Canadian government in the political persecution of Meng for a long time. Their focus has never been the legal problems of the case and the unlawful treatment Meng has suffered. They are more obsessed with linking the case of the two Michaels to Meng's, trying to turn Canada from an offender of human rights to a "victim" by accusing China of using "hostage diplomacy" to retaliate against Canada. In this regard, it's fair to say many Canadian media outlets have lost objectiveness and impartiality that a news outlet is supposed to have. Different from Meng, which has not violated any Canadian laws, there is solid evidence proving the two Michaels' violations of Chinese laws.

The online petition represents the call for justice. The increasing number of international signatures reflects a simple fact that more and more people have been aware of the injustice Meng has suffered. It's also indicative of the Chinese public's strong dissatisfaction toward the Canadian government. 

It has now been increasingly acknowledged worldwide that Washington, out of the purpose of safeguarding its high-tech hegemony and preventing a Chinese company from becoming a leader in the tech field, instructed Ottawa to illegally detain Meng. It's in essence a form of political kidnapping. Just as Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, the Meng case is a downright political event concocted by the US with Canada acting as an accomplice. It's apparent the US is behind it. 

"Canada shouldn't get caught up in the China-US strategic competition and bear losses for US interests," Shen Yi, a professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs at Fudan University in Shanghai, told the Global Times. "If it stubbornly insists on the current wrong path, its destiny will be doomed: to be either abandoned by the US, or to suffer counterattacks from China while the US will only act coldly like an onlooker," Shen noted.  

For the good of its own interests, Canada only needs to make a simple decision -- stop blindly acting as a lackey of the US. No one will ask Canada to stand with China to be against the US. But there is no need for Canada to confront China for the interests of the US, which will bring unbearable consequences to Canada.   

Regrettably, the Canadian government and media have done nothing to put an end to the country's wrong path of blindly following the US. This demonstrates Canada's political and strategic ignorance and immaturity. First, Ottawa blindly believes it has an obligation to serve the US. Second, it overestimates itself, thinking it can do whatever it wants with China without paying a price. The US has never been a reliable ally, but it seems Canada hasn't learned a lesson. US President Joe Biden in January - shortly after assuming office — formally revoked the permit needed to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline, an $8 billion project that the struggling Canadian crude sector has long supported, without a little consideration for its ally's interest. "What's wrong with Canada? Why is it so desperate to prove the world its obedience to the US and the fact that it is a semi-sovereign country?" Shen asked. Shen noted Canada appears to have a Stockholm syndrome toward the US - it blindly "loves" the US while being hurt by the US. 

It's time for the Canadian government and media to wake up and respond to the call for justice. Otherwise, the Chinese and international perception that Canada is the 51st state of the US will continue to deepen. 

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn 

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