Poking the bear gets us nowhere


So, one would think that someone in Ottawa would have warned Canadian officials that if they indeed detained Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of the United States when her plane landed in Vancouver there could be serious repercussions.
Surely alarm bells would have sounded somewhere in the prime minister’s office after the U.S. asked Canada to arrest the chief financial officer of a Chinese tech giant on charges she lied to U.S. banks about the company’s dealings with Iran in violation of U.S. trade sanctions.
But no.
Of course the Chinese took offence and we now find ourselves dealing with payback. Not only have they taken aim at our agricultural products but more seriously two Canadians have been arrested in China on charges they colluded to steal state secrets. These are very serious charges indeed.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said last week that Canada is “extremely disappointed” that China continues to detain two of its citizens and added that Canada was respecting the rule of law when it arrested Wanzhou.
The question begs–why on earth would we help the U.S. in such a situation when China itself has no respect for the rule of law. We simply asked for trouble and now we’ve got it.
Also, the silence from many other countries is almost deafening but they realize that there are economic and political consequences if they side with the west. Not many are willing to take that chance.
While there are those who say Canada should unite with our allies and take a co-ordinated stand for political justice and fair economic engagement with China, this would take a major political shift that our leaders are not willing to take–at least not right now.
China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang recently warned Canada that it needs to be aware of the consequences of aiding the U.S. but of course it may be too late.
Instead of arresting Wanzhou we should have warned her.
Now, we should let her go.