Friday, June 28, 2019

LILLEY: China's power play must be resisted

LILLEY: China's power play must be resisted

Canadian and Chinese flags prior to a meeting with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and China's President Xi Jinping at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing in 2013. 
The message from Beijing ahead of the G20 summit was clear: release Huawei’s CFO or deal with the consequences.
Image result for Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor
Those consequences now not only include Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor being detained and tortured, they include jail sentences being increased from 15 years to the death penalty for others and the crushing of Canada’s economy by what are effectively sanctions by China.
The Associated Press reports that China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Canada should “take seriously China’s concerns.”
Oh and we should release Ms Meng.
Image result for Meng.
I think the “or else” was implied.
The comments came at a daily press briefing in Beijing just ahead of the G20 meeting in Osaka, Japan that will see Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the same room as Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In fact, they will likely end up sitting next to each other even if they don’t actually speak directly.
Will they talk about China’s ban on beef, pork, canola or peas over dinner?
I hope they do, but I doubt it.
China wants one thing and one thing only: the release of Ms. Meng — not only the CFO of Huawei but the daughter of the founder.
This is a point of national pride for China.
For Canada this is a question of whether we are a country that follows the rule of law or a country that capitulates to bullies.
I really hope we are a country that follows the rule of law.
Ms. Meng was detained in Vancouver last December on an extradition request from the United States.
She is able to challenge that request and appeal it in Canadian courts and a judge must find sufficient evidence to allow her to be turned over to American authorities on charges that she could face there.
China doesn’t want it to ever get to that point — they want this shut down now.
They fear the idea that their international business practices could be exposed in an American court.
For all of those bemoaning the current American administration and crying about Donald Trump, I’d still rather take my chances in the U.S. justice system than the Chinese system any day of the week.
China is not a country that plays by the rule of law, nor a country that follows the rules on any matter.
When the regime in Beijing is not bullying or threatening those that oppose it they are targeting them.
That is why Canada’s industries are now facing the squeeze.
From pork to beef, soy to pea, and of course canola — China is trying to make Canada pay economically for upholding the rule of law and not give into their bully tactics.
As much as I have problems with how the Trudeau government handled this file, I must give them credit for not caving to Beijing, despite prominent Liberals like Jean Chretien and John McCallum calling for that to happen.
Late last week, Prime Minister Trudeau visited Washington and asked U.S. President Donald Trump to raise the issue with the Chinese during the G20 summit.
Trump said he would.
We have to hope he does.

Trump is in the middle of his own trade war with China, all around the same issue: Huawei.
The Chinese government has threatened to ban FedEx in their latest retaliation.
Meanwhile, Huawei continues to fund universities across Canada, sponsor Hockey Night in Canada and act like a good corporate citizen. Hypocritical you say..
All while their political masters in Beijing try to squeeze the Canadian economy to its knees.
Canada needs to stand firm now or the consequences down the road will be even worse than what China is threatening now.

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