Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that China is ”playing” Western countries against one another.
During an interview with Global television, he said, “We’ve been competing and China has been, from time to time, very cleverly playing us off each other in an open market, competitive way.”
“We need to do a better job of working together and standing strong so China can’t play the angles and divide us one against the other.”
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Trudeau warned China against the inhumane treatment and its “coercive diplomacy” in Hong Kong as well as the detention of Uighur Muslims.
Earlier this month, Canada said it will join the United States and other countries in a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics in February.
“As many (of our) partners around the world, we are extremely concerned by the repeated human rights violations by the Chinese government,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a news conference.
“That is why we are announcing today that we will not be sending any diplomatic representation to the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games this winter.”
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Canada saw its relations with China plunge into a deep freeze over Beijing’s detention of two Canadian nationals in response to Canada’s arrest on a US warrant of Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s founder.
Since Meng’s arrest, China has sentenced four Canadians to death over drug charges. They are Robert Schellenberg, Fan Wei, Ye Jianhui and Xu Weihong.
China has rejected the suggestion that the cases of the Canadians in China are linked to Meng’s case in Canada though Beijing has warned of unspecified consequences unless Meng was released.
Meng was charged with misleading HSBC Holdings PLC about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran, potentially causing the bank to violate American economic sanctions against Tehran.
Meng, who has said she is innocent, has been fighting her extradition from under house arrest in Vancouver.
(With inputs from agencies)