China scolds Canada for ‘mustering so-called allies’ on detainees
Canadians officials fired back at their Chinese counterparts Wednesday after the country claimed Canada was being “naive” in its approach to addressing the detention of its citizens.
Speaking in Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the matter is between China and Canada — and “mustering so-called allies,” such as the United States, won’t help.
WATCH: Carr balks at China calling Canada ‘naive’ over turning to allies about detained Canadians
“Firstly, (Canada) should not naively believe that mustering so-called allies to put pressure on China will have any effect,” he said. “China is a law-abiding country. China’s judiciary handles cases independently according to the law. China’s judicial sovereignty cannot be interfered with.”
International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr said Wednesday that that turning to allies is not an “unusual” move.
“Who are they to say there’s no value in Canada talking to its allies about issues we have abroad? In a multilateral system, that’s how we do diplomacy,” Carr said.
Geng’s comments came after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump discussed the possibility of the president intervening to help Canada.
Trump had told reporters he would bring up the detentions of Canadians while meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Japan.
After the summit, Trudeau told reporters he believed Trump brought up the issue, as promised.
“Many of our allies around the world have been highlighting the situation of the two Canadians detained in China, and we are confident that the (U.S.) president also brought that up, but you’ll have to ask him for details,” Trudeau said.
WATCH: Trudeau says he had ‘number of conversations’ with Xi about detained Canadians
That was disputed by Geng, who said China had already issued its account of the meeting between Xi and Trump — one that made no mention of Canada.
“Canada should not naively believe that its so-called allies can really exert themselves for them. All they can really do is waggle their lips as, in the end, this is a matter between China and Canada,” Geng said on Wednesday.
The spokesman added: “Canada knows exactly what the crux of the problem is,” likely motioning to the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.
“We hope Canada can quickly enact measures to put China-Canada relations back on track as soon as possible,” he said.
This latest criticism from China came about a week after the country banned all meat imports from Canada.
Trudeau has pledged to stand by industries affected by trade limits imposed by China during the diplomatic rift and work to free those detained.
The prime minister himself did not formally meet with Xi during the G20 summit, but the Prime Minister’s Office said the two had “constructive interactions” on the sidelines of the summit.
—With files from Reuters, The Canadian Press
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