ILLUSTRATION. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Montreal, Quebec, Canada October 17, 2019.
Source: Channel News Asia | Editor: SS Kurniawan
KONTAN.CO.ID – OTTAWA. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has sworn that Canada will continue to defend human rights in China, after a top Chinese diplomat warned Ottawa not to accept Hong Kong pro-democracy activists.
China’s Ambassador to Canada Cong Peiwu on Thursday (15/10) warned Canada not to grant asylum to Hong Kong activists. This is because, in his opinion, it could have an impact on “health and safety” for the 300,000 Canadians living in Hong Kong, a region that is theoretically autonomous to China.
Canadian Daily, The Globe and Mail reported, Ottawa recently granted asylum to a Hong Kong spouse, which the Canadian Government has not confirmed or denied.
“We will stand firmly and clearly for human rights, all over the world, whether it talks about the situation faced by the Uighurs, whether it speaks of a very concerning situation in Hong Kong, whether it is calling on China for its coercive diplomacy,” Trudeau said. , Friday (16/10), when asked about the comments of the Chinese Ambassador, he was quoted as saying Channel News Asia.
But he added: “We don’t want to increase (tensions with China)”.
As a sign of escalating tensions between the two countries, Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne had previously condemned the Chinese Ambassador’s statement as “completely unacceptable and disruptive”.
Meanwhile Canadian conservative opposition leader Erin O’Toole asked the Chinese ambassador to completely retract his words and issue a public apology.
“If the (Chinese) ambassador does not do it immediately, we hope the (Canadian) government will revoke its credentials,” O’Toole said.
Relations between Beijing and Ottawa have been frozen since December 2018 when Canada, acting on a United States warrant, arrested him chief financial officer (CFO) Huawei, China’s telecommunications giant.
Washington accuses CFO of Huawei of violating US sanctions on Iran and encouraging its extradition.
Shortly after the CFO of Huawei’s arrest, China jailed former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian businessman Michael Spavor on spying charges, actions widely seen in Western countries as retaliatory measures by Beijing.