China issued a stern warning to Canada and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland following her statement over the weekend condemning the violence in Hong Kong and the continued detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, stating the Canadian government should “stop its wrongdoing before it’s too late.”
On Tuesday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the Canadian government “has made irresponsible remarks” and “grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs.”
“Attempts to create chaos and undermine Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability will never win the support of the people and are doomed to fail,” Shuan said during a press conference. The comments were translated by Sina, a Chinese media company.
The official also commented on the ongoing diplomatic dispute between Ottawa and Beijing following the arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer at the Vancouver International Airport on a U.S. extradition warrant involving several allegations of conspiracy, fraud and obstruction.
“China-Canada relations have encountered serious difficulties due to Canada’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou without cause,” he said. “We demand the Canadian side to deeply reflect upon its mistakes, put itself in a right position, stop its wrongdoing before it’s too late and exercise prudence in words and deeds on Hong Kong-related issues.”
Global News reached out to Freeland’s office for comment on the recent warnings but has not yet received a response.
Protests in Hong Kong have reached their 11th week as hundreds of thousands of anti-government demonstrators continue to take to the streets, initially over a controversial extradition bill and now as a call for broader political freedoms.
On Sunday, Freeland and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini issued a joint statement condemning violence in Hong Kong and said: “Fundamental freedoms, including the right of peaceful assembly … must continue to be upheld.”
“It is crucial that restraint be exercised, violence rejected and urgent steps taken to de-escalate the situation,” the statement said. “Engagement in a process of broad-based and inclusive dialogue, involving all key stakeholders, is essential.”
Meanwhile, lawyers for the Huawei executive have claimed she was the target of a “covert criminal investigation” by the RCMP, FBI and other authorities that violated Meng’s charter rights.
The allegations were contained in hundreds of pages of documents filed in B.C. Supreme Court on Tuesday.
They alleged that the U.S. has abused the extradition process after “attempting to use these extradition proceedings for economic and political gain, as evidenced by the statements of the president of the United States.”
Canada has faced retaliatory pressure from China following Meng’s arrest, including the detention of two Canadians currently in prison in China and the sentencing of two others to death in China over drug-trafficking convictions.
Canadian farmers have also been hurt by China’s decision to stop buying certain agricultural exports in the wake of Meng’s detention.
— With files from Jesse Ferreras