Meng Wanzhou’s Arrest Conflict-G20 Leaders Diplomatic Clash Leads to Deterioration of Relations
Relations between China and Canada are deteriorating. When Canada decided to expel a Chinese diplomat for collecting personal information of its politicians, China also responded to the Canadian diplomat. There is no end in sight to the bad relationship between the two countries, which has led to the Canadian government’s detention of Huawei’s founder’s daughter, an open verbal battle between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and suspicions of China meddling in Canada’s general election.
AFP reported on the 8th that the Canadian government announced that it would expel Zhao Wei, a member of the Chinese consulate in Toronto, as a person to be diplomatically avoided (persona non grata). “We will not tolerate any form of interference in our internal affairs,” Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie said in her statement.
Previously, the Canadian daily Globe and Mail quoted a Canadian intelligence agency report written in July 2021, and reported on the 1st that the Chinese government had collected information on Hong Kong relatives of Canadian Conservative Party member Michael Cheung. It was analyzed that the intention was to pressure Congressman Chung from Hong Kong, who had pointed out the human rights issue of Xinjiang Uyghur. Zhao Wei was identified in the report as engaging in intelligence gathering.
Then, on the 9th, the Chinese Foreign Ministry designated Jennifer Lalonde, consul at the Canadian Consulate General in Shanghai, as persona non grata, and requested that she leave China before the 13th, China Central (CC)TV reported on the same day.
The Chinese embassy in Canada refuted in a statement by a spokesperson that the expulsion of Zhao Wei “severely violates international law, the basic norms of international relations, and bilateral agreements, and intentionally undermines bilateral relations.” Then, he urged, “Canada should bear all the consequences resulting from this,” and “I recommend ‘grabbing the reins from the cliff and stopping (懸崖勒馬 · Hyeonae Wolf)'”. Hyeonaewolma, which means to wake up when you are in danger, is mainly used when China warns other countries of strong retaliation.
Tensions between the two countries sparked when China detained two Canadians after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, vice chairman of Huawei, at the request of the United States in December 2018. In November of last year, CBC, a Canadian public broadcaster, withdrew its Beijing bureau after 40 years of absence when a correspondent’s Chinese visa was not issued. In the same month, at the G20 summit, a video was released in which President Xi directly protested to Prime Minister Trudeau over the disclosure of the previous day’s conversation to the media.
Beijing = Correspondent Kim Ki-yong [email protected]