Saturday, June 4, 2016
Canada protests tirade from Chinese politician-China reveals its true nature, they hate our culture
The Canadian government and Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion have expressed “dissatisfaction” with China after its foreign minister berated a Canadian journalist during a press conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.
“I can confirm that both (Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane) Dion and department officials from Global Affairs Canada have expressed our dissatisfaction to both the Chinese foreign minister and the ambassador of China to Canada — our dissatisfaction with the way our journalists were treated,” Trudeau said. “The fact of the matter is freedom of the press is extremely important to me.”
In Ottawa on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi blasted a journalist from iPolitics who asked a question at a news conference on behalf of the press pool about human rights and security, calling the question “irresponsible” and full of prejudice while Dion stood by.
Dion explained his lack of intervention during a teleconference with reporters today from Paris, where he met with foreign ministers and officials to discuss how to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
“I consider Madam Connolly as a professional with thick skin and she does not need me to go to her rescue,” he said.
Commentators quickly weighed in as the incident hit international headlines with many columnists, including in the National Post, criticizing Dion for not defending press freedom in Canada.
Dion was asked in the teleconference why, if he didn’t feel the need to defend the reporter berated by Wang, he didn’t step in to make it clear that media in Canada have the freedom to ask what they want to whomever they want.
“I don’t think I need to defend Canadian journalists in Canada who have all the rights and who are professionals that are capable of defending themselves,” Dion responded.
See the full exchange and the question that prompted the response here.
With files from the Canadian Press
In case you weren’t quite sure how China feels about questions over its human rights record, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi snapped at a Canadian reporter during a press conference with Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion Wednesday afternoon in Ottawa.
As part of the talks between Wang and Dion, Canadian media were allowed to ask one question plus one follow up to both ministers during the press conference. Several Canadian media outlets pooled several questions into one that touched on the disappearances of multiple Hong Kong booksellers believed to be detained in China, the detention and charging of Canadian Kevin Garratt, and China’s activities in the South China Sea, with iPolitics’ security and defence reporter Amanda Connolly posing the question to Dion.
Below is the full text of the question and the response provided after Dion’s by the Chinese foreign minister.
QUESTION: “There are no shortage of concerns about China’s treatment of human rights advocates such as the Hong Kong booksellers and its detention of the Garratts, not to mention the destabilizing effects of its territorial ambitions in the South China Sea. Given these concerns, why is Canada pursuing closer ties with China, how do you plan to use that relationship to improve human rights and security in the region, and did you specifically raise the case of the Garratts during your talks?”
Dion responds, Chinese media poses next question to Wang, who uses part of his response to the Chinese question to respond to the question asked by iPolitics on behalf of the Canadian media present.
WANG: “I want to respond to the question from this reporter about China. I have to say that your question is full of prejudice against China and arrogance where I have heard that come from and this is totally unacceptable. I have to ask whether you understand China? Have you been to China? Do you know that China has lifted more than 600 million people out of poverty and do you know that China is now the second largest economy in the [crosstalk]. Do you think development is possible for China without protection of human rights and do you know that China has written the passion and promotion of human rights into our constitution? Other people don’t know better than the Chinese people about the human rights conditions in China and if the Chinese people, who are in the best position have say about China’s human rights situation. So I would like to suggest to you please don’t ask questions in such an irresponsible manner and though we welcome goodwill suggestions, we reject groundless or unwarranted accusations.”