The drama unfolding between Canada, as a proxy of the United States in this instance, and China continues to escalate. China’s Ambassador to Canada called the country a purveyor of western and white supremacy. The claim holds as much water as a thimble. Canada prides itself as being one of the most “diverse” countries in the world, which means the less white people the better, and its prime minister, Justin Trudeau, happily declared Canada the first “postnational” country – whatever that means. To accuse the virtue signalling Canadians of being white supremacists is perhaps nonsensical verbal warfare. But it could also be really cunning.
Canadians treasure their “mosaic” of cultures and their acceptance of others is a point of national pride. The accusation that Canada, a country which offers itself to anyone for any price, is racist or intolerant is a potshot to the pride of the great white north – its multicultural identity. When examining China’s comments through this perspective, it makes tactical sense. Also, Justin Trudeau has proven himself to be very easy to upset and diversity is a major soft spot of his.
Ambassador Lu Shaye fired the insults from an op-ed published in The Hill Times titled, “why the double standard on justice for Canadians, Chinese?” Ambassador Shaye went on to accuse Canada of interfering in China’s sovereign judicial system because Canada made strong requests for China to release several people it claims have been arrested in retaliation for the December arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver. Canada arrested Wanzhou at the request of the United States, who cited Huawei as a national security threat and accused them of helping China circumvent international sanctions on Iran.
Since Wanzhou’s arrest, China has flexed its strong arm and detained 13 Canadians. Last week, the Canadian government said 8 of those 13 had been released. China claims all arrests were made aboveboard and were not for politically retaliatory reasons.
It is certainly a dangerous time for Canada to be making new enemies. Historically close relations between Canada and the US are growing distant because of disputes between president Donald Trump and prime minister Justin Trudeau; neither man wants to sacrifice their ego and be seen as wrong or weak to the other, but the reality is Trump has the cards. Justin Trudeau needs to learn to play nice and recognize the situation he finds his country in, which has 10 times less population than the United States and a roughly 10 times smaller economy. It’s not time to grandstand on non-issues and ruin relations over them, such as the proposed but later removed transgender sections Canada included in the USMCA. It’s time to circumvent differences and stand together for what counts.
China’s Xi Jinping is everything everyone accuses Trump of being – he’s a true dictator and a brutalizing despot. He’s managed to throw China’s limp-wristed constitution out the window and rewrite the rules in his image. Jinping plans to serve as President of China until his death, and his rising cult of personality and high military and party support assures he can rule as he pleases. When it comes to Chinese policy, he has the first and final say. He is the person the world needs to stand up to; he is the puppet master performing the show of a lifetime before us all, and lucky Canada gets to guest star.