Canada's lies about two Michaels make it an international laughingstock
Published: Dec 27, 2023 09:34 PM
Photo: Former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor (right)

Photo: Former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor (right)

The Canadian government is willing to sign off on multimillion-dollar settlement packages for two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, who were jailed by China for nearly three years on charges of espionage and illegal provision of China's state secrets to foreign entities, the Globe and Mail reported on Tuesday, citing government sources.

The Canadian government's decision is seen as a clear acknowledgment of the espionage allegations, Wang Qiang, a research fellow and senior colonel, told the Global Times. Typically, when individuals face criminal charges abroad, the government is not obligated to provide compensation. Therefore, the Canadian government's willingness to pay a settlement implies the two Michaels were involved in espionage activities assigned by the Canadian government, experts believed.

The Globe and Mail reported that Spavor's lawyer alleged gross negligence on how Canada handled security reporting operations in China, potentially putting a spotlight on the Global Security Reporting Program (GSRP). GSRP sends diplomats to hot spots to collect security-related information for Canada. While Ottawa claims that GSRP officers are not spies, it acknowledges that their reports can be shared with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Five Eyes intelligence partners. Canada's contradictory stance of denying espionage activities while providing millions of dollars in compensation clearly exposes the hypocritical nature of Western societies.

Most people still remember how Canada used the Two Michaels incident five years ago to attack and smear China. They accused China of engaging in unacceptable "arbitrary detention" by portraying China's lawful handling of the Two Michaels as a retaliatory strike against Canada's detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. However, the dramatic turn came when the myth of the "Two Michaels" exploded with revelations in November. It was revealed that Kovrig had previously been a Canadian intelligence asset who, according to Spavor, may have embroiled him in spying without his knowledge. All of this has caused Canada's accusations against China to lose their factual basis and become a huge lie, which has been further confirmed by Canada's willingness to compensate the two Canadian men.

From the "arbitrary detention" false accusations five years ago to the ongoing compensation negotiations, the complete truth has yet to surface. However, this reversal at least prompts us to question the two Michaels incident from various perspectives, especially for ordinary citizens who may not fully understand the details, Liu Dan, a researcher at the Center for Regional Country Studies at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, told the Global Times. This turn of events can serve as a noteworthy example, enough to alert conscientious Canadian citizens to scrutinize whether the government is truly prioritizing the country's development and the safety of its citizens or is driven by its own political considerations and maneuvers.

In recent years, particularly since the Trudeau government came to power, Canada has adopted hazardous strategic thinking that rigidly binds its own interests with those of the US and other Western governments in the Five Eyes alliance. It has followed the US' lead in seizing every chance possible to smear and attack China. 

The ultimate goal of the Canadian government, as well as that of the broader Western community, in engaging in such defamation, vilification, and sensationalism, is to exert pressure and hinder China on the international stage. Their aim is to tarnish China's international image and undermine China's credibility in the global community. However, relying on such dirty tactics to suppress the rise of China is wishful thinking. As most of these accusations are baseless and crumble when faced with reality, countries like Canada only turn themselves into a laughingstock on the international stage.