Will Canada bow to China’s arrogance?
Canada urged to review its China policy
By RENA LI in Toronto | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-10-08 07:04
Ottawa puts itself at risk by aligning too closely with Washington, experts say
Canada should pursue an independent foreign policy based on coexistence, rather than be caught between competition between China and the United States, participants of an internet panel discussion hosted by the Institute for Peace and Diplomacy said this week.
“This is ultimately about great-power competition between China and the US,” said one of the panelists, Yuen Pau Woo, a member of the Canadian Senate and a former president and chief executive of the Asia Pacific Foundation, on Monday.
“Whatever the merits of the Chinese or American actions, we were caught in between. We will pursue a policy on China yet to be determined, but which is based on coexistence rather than elimination of the threat.”
Following the release of the Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou last month there have been calls for a clearer articulation of Canada’s policy toward China, Woo said. However, he is not enthusiastic about doing so now, he said, because “the fever” in relations between Ottawa and Beijing for the last three or four years has yet to break.
Another panelist, Henri-Paul Normandin, former Canadian ambassador and deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, said Canada cannot fall in entirely behind the US if it wishes to preserve an independent foreign policy.
“American foreign policy is not always in our best interest. Obviously, the US is a close partner, and is a good partner, but sometimes they make choices which are not in our best interests.”
Woo stressed that the most important thing Canadians need to do on China policy is “to change the narrative on China in the media”.
Canada can express its disagreement with China, “but if we continue down the path where our national security agencies, universities and private sector companies essentially stay away from China because if somehow every Chinese entity, individual or immigrant is suspected as being connected to the state, we no longer can have a China policy of any sort”.
Western countries believe they were “unwitting dupes” of China, the captive of Chinese cheap goods and services, Woo said.
“That’s a gross misrepresentation of the story. We were willing partners in all of this and not only that, but we also prospered on the backs of cheap Chinese labor.”
Normandin said: “It’s understandable that the US wants to get tough on China in the context of global competition, but I’m afraid that the US may be overdoing it.”
By David Olive
Star Business Columnist
Thu., Oct. 7, 2021
Meng Wanzhou is returning to a Huawei Technologies Co. that is suffering a severe reversal in fortunes.
The trajectory of that sharp decline roughly parallels the 1,020-day incarceration by China of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.
That overt link between Meng and the two Michaels removed any doubt that Huawei is a favoured child of Beijing.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is waging a campaign to rein in China’s most powerful companies. Beijing’s harsh measures have been largely aimed at the tech sector — yet Huawei, China’s biggest tech enterprise, has been spared in that crackdown.
The relentless ferocity of China’s efforts to secure Meng’s release cemented assumptions worldwide that Huawei is an instrument of Chinese geopolitics.
Beijing followed up its incarceration of the two Michaels with trade sanctions against Canadian pork, beef, and soybeans.
Huawei has always insisted that it is not influenced by Beijing. But in the wake of China’s hostage diplomacy, hardly anyone not on Huawei’s payroll believes that.
The company’s global image as a potential menace is dragging Huawei down. Its win-at-all-costs drive has long been described in the industry as a “culture of wolves.”
And Huawei has never hid its Chinese patriotism.
A Huawei facing increased consumer resistance in global markets is also losing ground in its home market, the bulwark of its strength.
In 2021, eight of the world’s 10 largest economies, including Britain, have either banned or restricted Huawei from their 5G networks.
Canada isn’t one of them. Ottawa is to announce a decision in coming weeks.
But that decision has already been made by the cruelty inflicted on the two Michaels and the Canadian telecoms’ rejection of Huawei gear in their 5G networks.
The question for the Trudeau government is what to do about Huawei’s more than 1,200 researchers and engineers in Canada at eight R&D centres across the country.
Huawei uses its alliances with Canadian universities to drain this country of Canadian tech advances, which make their way to China’s hegemonic regime.
It’s difficult to see how the continued presence of Huawei’s culture of wolves on these shores is in the best interests of Canada. David Olive is a Toronto-based business columnist for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @TheGrtRecession
China says Canada should ‘draw lessons’ from Huawei exec case
September 28, 2021 00:07 JST
BEIJING (Reuters) — The release of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou shows China’s strength and Canada should “draw lessons,” China’s foreign ministry said on Monday, after state media called it an opportunity for a reboot of bilateral relations.
Meng landed in Huawei’s home city of Shenzhen aboard a government-chartered plane on Saturday to much fanfare, ending her near three-year U.S. extradition fight, the same day two Canadians detained by Beijing shortly after Meng’s 2018 detention returned home.
Meng’s return shows the ability of the Chinese government and ruling Communist Party to protect its citizens, companies, and interests, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular daily briefing.
The two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who had been imprisoned on espionage accusations, left China within hours of Meng’s release from house arrest.
The cases involving the Canadians were “completely different” from Meng’s, which was a case of “political persecution,” Hua said.
“Canada should draw lessons and act according to its own interests,” she added.
Canada had called the arrest of the two an act of “hostage diplomacy,” a characterization China repeatedly denied.
The Global Times late on Sunday said that Kovrig and Spavor had “confessed their guilt” and were released on bail for medical reasons before departing China.
Spavor was accused of supplying photographs of military equipment to Kovrig and sentenced to 11 years in jail in August. Kovrig had been awaiting sentencing.
Meng’s release was an opportunity to improve relations with Canada and the United States but “toxic political rhetoric” could still “poison” the atmosphere”, China’s Global Times tabloid said earlier on Monday.
“The relaxation of positions by both sides is a positive but limited development in China-U.S. relations and is less than significant in the big scheme of things,” said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Beijing’s Renmin University.
“There is no indication that Washington is going to soften on the trade war,” Shi said. “I don’t see China immediately relaxing trade restrictions against Canada either.”
Canada’s decision on Huawei 5G gear due in ‘coming weeks’: Trudeau
Steve Scherer, Reuters
Posted at Sep 29 2021 08:15 AM
OTTAWA, Canada – Canada’s decision on whether to ban Huawei 5G gear, as all the other members of the so-called Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network have done, is likely to be made in “coming weeks,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday.
His comments about the decision – which has been under study for some three years – were the first since Huawei Technologies Co Ltd Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was freed last week from house arrest in Vancouver, where she had fought extradition to the United States for almost three years.
The United States has pressed allies to bar Huawei from next-generation 5G networks on grounds the equipment could undermine communications security. The Five Eyes network consists of Canada, the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.
Until now, Canada had said it was awaiting reports from its intelligence services to make a final decision. Well-placed sources have said, however, that Canada had effectively blocked Huawei but did not want to say so publicly for fear of harming the fortunes of the two detainees.
“We continue to weigh and look at the different options, but we will be no doubt making announcements in the coming weeks,” Trudeau told reporters when asked about the Huawei decision. It was his first news conference since his re-election last week to a minority government.
In June of last year, Bell Canada and rival Telus Corp – two of the biggest wireless providers – teamed with Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia Oyj to build fifth-generation (5G) telecoms networks, ditching Huawei for the project despite using Huawei 4G gear.
“We have actually seen that many Canadian telecommunications companies, if not all of them, have started to remove Huawei from their networks and are moving forward in ways that doesn’t involve them as a company,” Trudeau said.
Canada’s decision is unlikely to come before it has put a new government in place. On Tuesday, Trudeau said he would swear in his new Cabinet next month, without giving a date.