Last week marked a grim anniversary.
It was two years ago that Chinese authorities arbitrarily detained two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Micheal Kovrig, in retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou.
Meng’s father is the founder of Chinese telecom giant Huawei. She was arrested in Vancouver, as part of our extradition treaty with the United States, on fraud charges related to her business dealings with Iran.
Due to her family’s political connections, Chinese authorities were quick to retaliate, banning Canadian pork and canola imports, as well as engaging in hostage diplomacy with the two Michaels.
Two years later, Meng (out on bail since shortly after her arrest) is living in her $13 million Vancouver home and free to go out shopping and eat in restaurants. Meanwhile, the two Michaels are in a Chinese prison, denied consular visits and charged with espionage.
The safety of Canadians at home and around the world should be the top priority of any government. Sadly, Justin Trudeau continues to believe we can (and should) be friends with communist China.
We all remember Justin Trudeau’s 2013 comments about how he admired China’s basic dictatorship. Unfortunately, what many at the time put down to naivete seems to have belied something darker.
In 2016, when Chinese billionaires wanted exclusive access to the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau took their money. The question is, what did they get in exchange?
The Liberals gave $256 million to China’s Asian Infrastructure bank.
While our allies have definitively ruled out allowing Huawei access to our 5G networks (over espionage concerns), Justin Trudeau has not—despite the pleas of our Five-Eyes partners and his own intelligence officials.
Another Chinese state-owned enterprise, the Shandong Mining Company is trying to take over Nunavut based TMAC Resources in Canada’s Arctic. In fact, China, like Russia, has been aggressively positioning itself for economic and military superiority in the Arctic—this despite China not being a member of the Arctic Council. Again, Justin Trudeau is silent.
When it came to COVID-19, China’s communist government lied to the world. Yet, when it came to a COVID-19 vaccine, to whom did Justin Trudeau go first? The communist government of China—a deal that, ultimately, fell through.
China continues to engage in cyberwarfare, hacking, misinformation, espionage and intimidation of Chinese Canadians.
Last week, it came to light that the Liberal Government had planned to hold joint military exercises with China’s People’s Liberation Army on Canadian soil.
Newly released government documents explain the rational:
“while resolving the consular cases is the government of Canada’s top priority, ensuring a certain amount of continuity in other parts of the Canada-China relationship remains important… Canada does not want to be the partner that is reducing normal bilateral interactions.”
Translation, we care about the two Michaels as long as it doesn’t interfere with everything else we’ve got going on with the China.
Whether it’s naivete or something darker, Justin Trudeau seems willing to do whatever it takes, including endangering our citizens, economic and military interests to avoid offending the communist government in Beijing.
Communist China is not our friend, but they certainly have a friend in Justin Trudeau.