Canada’s relations with China is at a critical crossroads

Canada’s relations with China is at a critical crossroads

By Shachi Kurl, President

Normally, the appointment of a new national security advisor in Canada is little noted, let alone remarked upon. But such is the pressure and expectation on the Trudeau government to show it has some kernel of an idea about what to do next on the China file that Jody Thomas’ designation to the new role has generated some hoopla.

Canada’s arguably most significant Sino-relations priority of the last three years came to an end last fall when the Prime Minister attempted to take maximum credit for the freeing of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor by greeting them at the airport on their return to this country after more than a thousand days of essentially being held hostage by the Beijing regime.

We don’t know — and may never know — all the names of the real heroes inside government and out who literally spent tens of thousand of combined hours securing their release. We do know however, that there is a collective sense of “now what?” on Canada-China relations, especially given other critical issues outstanding.

Will this country rest at a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Olympic Games when relatively few diplomats were going anyway? Most Canadians do not support keeping athletes home, but three-quarters do define China’s actions against the Uighur minority as genocide. Does the West’s partial protest deliver the point, or, as some have opined, merely raise disturbing parallels to its participation in the 1936 games in Berlin?

For the rest of this piece, please view it on the Ottawa Citizen’s site where it was initially published.

Image – Dave Chan/AFP via Getty Images


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