Canada won’t 'back down' on Hong Kong stance: Trudeau

Cheryl Sanders
August 24, 2019

Reuters reported that on Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government had no intention of backing down in the dispute and would defend Canada's interests. "Canada should release Ms. Meng Wanzhou immediately and ensure her safe return to China, and bring bilateral relations back onto the right track". "The case of Ms Meng is now before the Canadian courts, as it ought to be".

Trudeau, speaking ahead of Pompeo, said he would be both thanking the Americans for their support on the detainees "and continuing to talk how we move forward on that".

After Freeland's long and drawn out response - her short answer was essentially no - Pompeo teed off on Jakes, accusing her of taking "the Chinese line" on a diplomatic crisis that has caused relations between Canada and China to reach their nadir.

The G7 countries meet in France this weekend for their annual summit; the last one took place in Canada and ended in a tense spat between Trudeau and Trump over trade issues.

At a press conference in Ottawa, Pompeo said China's arbitrary detention of the two Canadians was "fundamentally different as a human rights matter, as a rule of law matter" than Meng's extradition case.

He also met with Canadian business executives - including Canada's largest agricultural exporter Richardson International, which saw its canola shipments to China blocked this year.

"[China] wants to talk about these two as if they are equivalent, as if they are morally similar, which they fundamentally are not", he said during a media availability on Thursday afternoon.

Any decisions in Canada about Meng's case will be left to civil servants and the criminal justice system, as it ought to be, Freeland said.

"We will continue to do that until such time as they are home with their families", Pompeo said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou is "not a bargaining chip" in the country's trade war with China, despite previous comments from U.S. President Donald Trump that he would intervene in her extradition if it helped him win a trade deal.

Trudeau said the question of what more can be done will be among the issues discussed on Thursday.

The US is seeking her extradition to face fraud charges for allegedly violating Iran sanctions and lying about it to US banks-accusations that her lawyers dispute.

Mr Pompeo was asked on Thursday at a news conference in Ottawa whether he saw Ms Meng's detention as something that could be used by the USA to its advantage in trade talks.

China and the USA are now embroiled in a trade war that has roiled global financial markets. These included ratification of the new US/Canada/Mexico free trade agreement, peace talks with North Korea, the ongoing crisis in Venezuela, and Russian belligerence.

Pompeo's visit is the latest indication of how bilateral ties have improved since hitting a low point in June 2018 when Trump called the Canadian leader weak and dishonest.

Getting the new U.S. -Mexico-Canada trade deal into action is important, Pompeo said.

Other reports by iNewsToday