Xi: China calls Canada’s manner ‘condescending’


A Chinese spokesperson on Thursday accused Canada of acting in a « patronizing manner » following a testy exchange between President Xi Jinping and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that underlined how bilateral relations had fallen.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning’s comments came after Xi reprimanded Trudeau at the G-20 summit on Wednesday following media reports of a previous meeting in which Trudeau stood up. was said to be concerned about Chinese interference in Canada’s internal affairs. The seemingly spontaneous exchange with a translator present was captured on video.

Mao denied that China had ever interfered in the internal affairs of other nations and said Canada was responsible for the slowdown in relations.

« Canada should take concrete steps to create conditions for improved China-Canada relations, » she told a daily briefing. The conversation was « completely normal and should not be interpreted as criticism or censure of President Xi ».

Mao added that there had been a clear lack of respect from Canada.

« China has no problem having a frank dialogue with other countries, » she said. « But we hope such frank dialogue will be based on equal treatment and mutual respect, rather than condescendingly criticizing the other. »

In his comments to Trudeau, Xi said, « Everything we discussed was leaked to the newspaper; it’s not appropriate. »

« And that’s not…the way the conversation was conducted, if there’s any sincerity on your part, » Xi said, at which point Trudeau cut him off and walked over to Xi.

« In Canada, we believe in free, open and frank dialogue and that’s what we will continue to have, » Trudeau said. « We will continue to seek to work together constructively, but there will be things we disagree on. »

« Let’s create the conditions first, » Xi replied. The two shook hands after the brief encounter.

Mao said nothing Xi said should be construed as a threat.

« As you can see from the video, I think it’s only normal for the two heads of state to have a brief conversation during the G-20 summit. Both sides were just clarifying their respective positions. » , she said.

Trudeau spoke with Xi for the first time at the G-20 last Tuesday. A senior Canadian government official said the pair spoke about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, North Korea and climate change, and that Trudeau also raised « our serious concerns about interference activities in Canada ». The official spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Asked at a press conference later about the confrontation, Trudeau said, « Not every conversation will always be easy, but it’s extremely important that we continue to stand up for the things that are important to Canadians. »

Foreign Minister Melanie Joly also said she discussed Chinese interference with her Chinese counterpart at the G-20.

Joly noted last week that China is an increasingly disruptive global power and warned companies against deepening ties, saying there were « geopolitical risks ».

China-Canada relations crumbled after China jailed two Canadians shortly after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies and daughter of the company’s founder, following a US extradition request in December 2018.

They were returned to Canada last year, the same day Meng returned to China after reaching a settlement with US authorities in her case, leading many to call China’s action a « politics of hostages ».

Canada has banned mobile carriers from installing Huawei equipment in its high-speed 5G networks, joining allies in avoiding the company which has close ties to the ruling Communist Party and its military wing. People’s Liberation Army. China has described the charges against Huawei and Meng as a politically motivated attempt to curb China’s economic and technological development.

More recently, Canadian police on Monday charged a Hydro-Quebec employee with espionage for allegedly sending trade secrets to China.

Earlier this month, Canadian public broadcaster CBC closed its bureau in China after demands for a new journalist to settle in Beijing were met with what it called « a month of silence from Chinese officials ».

Xi’s seemingly unscripted remarks marked a rare display of public candor from the usually quiet veteran politician. Known as an ardent nationalist who has vowed to always put China’s interests first, Xi was recently granted a third five-year term as head of the ruling Communist Party, while wrapping top leaders with loyalists.

In a previous such incident during a 2009 visit to Mexico when he was vice president, China told Chinese students: « There are a few foreigners with full bellies who don’t have nothing better to do than try to point fingers at our country. «

« China doesn’t export revolution, hunger or poverty. China doesn’t cause you headaches either. What else do you want? » Xi said in filmed remarks.


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