PortandTerminal.com, October 16, 2020
OTTAWA – On Tuesday this week, we reported that the Chinese government had instructed importers in China to stop purchasing Australian coal. Ports in China were also told to stop offloading deliveries of that country’s coal. There are reports today that authorities have also been discouraging Chinese spinning mills from using Australian cotton.
Why? Australia is being punished by China for its insistence on an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus outbreak in China.
Yesterday was Canada’s turn to feel the “The Wrath of China” as its ambassador to Canada, Cong Peiwu, threatened the “health and safety” of the 300,000 Canadians who live in Hong Kong.
What’s going on?
On Tuesday Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau told China that its “coercive diplomacy,” repressive measures in Hong Kong and detention of Uighur Muslims are counterproductive for itself and the rest of the world.
Trudeau’s remarks upset the Chinese who take any criticism against the Communist ruling party as a quasi death threat. Trudeau’s criticism had to be met with a harsh response. Enter Cong Peiwu.
China’s ambassador to Canada, Cong Peiwu, used a press conference on Thursday to say Beijing finds it unacceptable that Canada recently accepted two Hong Kong pro-democracy dissidents as political refugees. He urged Ottawa to stop granting asylum to democracy activists from Hong Kong, whom he described as “violent criminals.”
He also took strong exception to a call from nearly 60 Canadian Members of Parliament (MPs) and senators to shelter more Hong Kong residents fleeing China’s national-security law.
He told Ottawa to stop granting asylum to democracy activists from Hong Kong, whom he described as “violent criminals,” and warned that accepting these people could jeopardize the “health and safety” of 300,000 Canadians who live in the former British colony.
Asked if he was issuing a threat, envoy Cong Peiwu replied: “That is your interpretation.”
Number to remember: 140,000 Chinese foreign students in Canada
“If the Canadian side really cares about the stability and the prosperity in Hong Kong, and really cares about the good health and safety of those 300,000 Canadian passport holders in Hong Kong and the large number of Canadian companies operating in Hong Kong . . . you should support those efforts to fight violent crimes,” he said.
Where does this all go?
Canadian’s, both liberal and conservative, are disgusted by China and have watched in horror at their Orwellian treatment of the Uyghurs and the demonstrators in Hong Kong.
Canadians are also horrified by China’s arbitrary arrest and detention of two of its citizens, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor – one a diplomat and the other a businessman — who have been held in barbaric conditions for two years.
Number to remember: 1.77 million people in Canada who identify themselves as being of Chinese ethnic origin — about 5% of the population
Bilateral merchandise trade with China totals nearly $100 billion annually, having nearly doubled in the last decade, according to Statistics Canada. That makes China Canada’s largest trading partner apart from the United States.
Trade considerations for now though take second place to human rights in Canada.
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