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Canada foreign minister says eyes wide open when it comes to normalizing China ties

Stock MarketsSep 26, 2021 03:55PM ET
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3/3 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau speaks during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not seen) at the Harpa Concert Hall, on the sidelines of the Arctic Council Ministerial summit, in Reykjavik, Iceland, May 19, 2021. Sa 2/3

TORONTO (Reuters) -Canada's "eyes are wide open" when it comes to normalizing its relationship with China, Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said on Sunday, two days after the release of a Huawei executive following almost three years of house arrest in Vancouver.

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, flew back to China on Friday after reaching an agreement with U.S. prosecutors to end a bank fraud case against her. That resulted in the scrapping of her extradition battle in a Canadian court.

Soon after Meng flew to China, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor - two Canadians detained by Chinese authorities just days after Meng's arrest in Vancouver in December 2018 on a U.S. warrant - were released by Beijing.

Garneau told CBC News the government is now following a fourfold approach to China: "coexist," "compete," "cooperate" and "challenge."

He said Canada would compete with China on issues like trade and cooperate on climate change, while challenging it on its treatment of Uighurs, Tibetans and Hong Kong as Ottawa has done in the past.

"Let me say, our eyes are wide open. We have been saying that for some time. There was no path to a relationship with China as long as the two Michaels were being detained," Garneau said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Garneau received the two Canadians on Saturday when they arrived in Calgary, Alberta, after spending more than 1,000 days in solitary confinement.

Spavor was accused of supplying photographs of military equipment to Kovrig and sentenced in August to 11 years in jail. Kovrig had been awaiting sentencing.

Trudeau, who won a third term last Monday after a tight election race, had vowed to improve ties with China after becoming prime minister in 2015, building on his father's success in establishing diplomatic ties with China in 1970.

But even before Meng's arrest, Canada's repeated questioning of China's human rights positions had irked Beijing, and the two countries have failed to come closer.

China has always denied any link between Meng's extradition case and the detention of the two Canadians, but Garneau said that "the immediate return of the two Michaels linked" it to Meng's case in a "very direct manner."

Garneau said he had heard about the deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) several weeks ago, which opened the door to the return of the two men.

Canadian Ambassador to the United States Kirsten Hillman denied Washington had made the release of Kovrig and Spavor a condition for the resolution of the charges against Meng.

"Absolutely not. The DPA and the resolution of the charges against Ms. Meng was a completely independent process, and it was proceeding as it did," Hillman told Canadian broadcaster CTV.

Garneau also said he did not think the timing of the men's return had anything to do with that of the federal election.

"I think it just worked out that way."

Canada foreign minister says eyes wide open when it comes to normalizing China ties
 

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Comments (7)
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:47PM ET
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Canada and Mexico should pay usa for protection. Nobody dares to attack Canada, Mexico. Nafta members r protected by usa.
Bernard Tan
Bernard Tan Sep 26, 2021 7:47PM ET
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USA cannot even protect Afghanistan! 🤣
Jason Zou
Jason Zou Sep 26, 2021 7:14PM ET
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Next time, Canada would think very hard to kidnap any Chinese for the consequence, while China has 3000 years or more experience to deal with it.
Ryan Willemsen
Ryan Willemsen Sep 26, 2021 7:14PM ET
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Lol evergrande is about to send china back 3000 years
Trevor Roberts
LimitUp Sep 26, 2021 7:14PM ET
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Some people love China, just like some guys let their wives go with other men.
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Sep 26, 2021 4:29PM ET
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Love the use of catch words he uses to describe Canada's approach, catch words make a good smoke screen to mask the fact that politicians usually accomplish very little, at great expense.  Just like Biden's Quad Leaders Summit.
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Sep 26, 2021 4:28PM ET
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The ruling liberal party in Canada and Trudeau have flip flopped on China several times, making it apparent that China is playing them just as they do the failed Biden presidency.
Millennial Metals
Millennial Metals Sep 26, 2021 4:19PM ET
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Social Credit Scores are coming to Canada
David David
David9 Sep 26, 2021 4:19PM ET
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This is the same as your FICO score.
Randy Randy
randy00 Sep 26, 2021 4:07PM ET
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We like being taken advantage of, do it again.
Millennial Metals
Millennial Metals Sep 26, 2021 2:35PM ET
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Canada is yet another crony government country that sold out to china
Jack Zhang
Jack_A Sep 26, 2021 2:35PM ET
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No, it sold it self to US
David David
David9 Sep 26, 2021 2:35PM ET
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Give example how they have sold out...
Matt Brackley
Matt Brackley Sep 26, 2021 2:35PM ET
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Jack Zhang it sold out to the highest bidder....so it sold out to both which doesn't work to well.
 
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