Canadians’ antipathy toward China makes the case of the ‘two Michaels’ even harder to resolve

Canadians’ antipathy toward China makes the case of the ‘two Michaels’ even harder to resolve

By Shachi Kurl, President

Anger. Barely concealed, seething hostility. As the “trials” of Michaels Spavor and Kovrig begin in China – the state that extrajudicially kidnapped those two Canadian men more than 800 days ago – these are the emotions Canadians feel towards the Beijing regime.

Recent polling from the Angus Reid Institute shows people signalling to their government in Ottawa that it’s time to draw a harder line. In four years, favourable views of China have plummeted from 48 per cent to 14 per cent. Just one-in-10 wishes to pursue closer trade ties with that country. Most would block its ability to invest in sensitive Canadian industries, and prohibit it any role in this nation’s 5G build-out. The vast majority believe China hasn’t told the truth regarding COVID-19. They are firmly of the view its actions towards the Uighur minority should be defined as genocide.

Even seemingly benign, supposedly uniting events such as the Olympics leave a sour taste in the mouths of more than half the country: Just over 50 per cent say Canada’s athletes, coaches and fans should boycott Beijing 2022. It’s all summed up in one overarching message from Canadians: More than three-quarters (77 per cent) say there can be no improvement in Sino-Canadian relations unless the Michaels are released.

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


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