But he gave no indication his government is willing to act to protect the 300,000 Canadians living in Hong Kong or to protect its democracy from being dismantled.
“We put out a very strong statement with a number of our allies of real concern for the situation in Hong Kong,” Trudeau said when questioned on the introduction of the national security bill in China on Friday.
He said it will be “important” to support Hong Kongers who want to see the current approach continue.
“It is going to be important for the Chinese government to engage in constructive conversations with citizens of Hong Kong to ensure we de-escalate the tensions and we look forward to a path that actually allows for prosperity in a way that the citizens of Hong Kong expect.”
The city, a major global financial hub, became a British colony in 1842 while the last of the imperial dynasties in China still held power.
Britain returned Hong Kong to the current Chinese government in 1997.
But that deal was authorized and supported, including by allies like Canada, under the agreement that Hong Kong would maintain its democratic system and freedoms not enjoyed in mainland China.
China, however, has been steadily working to erode those freedoms and expanding its influence over domestic politics and law enforcement.
In response, Hong Kong has seen months of pro-democracy protests since last spring.
Those have frequently been met with police crackdowns and as recently as Sunday, police fired water cannons and tear gas at protestors opposing the Chinese law.
That law will ban anything it deems to be secessionist and subversive activity, as well as foreign interference and terrorism.
However, the Chinese regime considers virtually any domestic or foreign criticism of its actions as such.
David Mulroney, Canada’s former ambassador to China, warned on The West Block on Sunday that China is using global distraction from the coronavirus pandemic to seize final control over Hong Kong.
“This is really the last step in dismantling one country, two systems, and really reneging on the deal,” he said, urging the Canadian government to recognize the time has time to start “decoupling” from China.
“This is China reneging on this, demolishing it and it’s yet another reason why we need to rethink about a world that is more dominated by China where we really need to remodel our foreign policy.”