Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau implored the West to stand together against China, arguing that country’s communist leadership has often been “playing” Western countries against each other.
“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,” Trudeau said in an interview with Global television.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. REUTERS/Patrick Doyle
The Canadian Prime Minister said the problem occurs as many Western countries attempt to gain access to China’s massive market, letting China dictate the terms and pitting Western states against each other as competitors.
“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,” Trudeau said.
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (Photo by Ju Peng/Xinhua via Getty Images) (Ju Peng/Xinhua via Getty Images)
Canada’s relationship with China has been strained in recent years, most notably after Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, a Chinese national, was arrested at Vancouver International Airport on a U.S. extradition warrant in 2018. China detained two Canadians soon after, a move Canada saw as retaliation for the arrest of Meng.
Meng eventually reached a deal with U.S. prosecutors in September, resulting in the release of the two Canadian nationals.
Canada has also been highly critical of China’s human rights record, joining other western countries in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing in February.
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP) (AP/Getty)
The boycotts have not been well-received by China, which said they violate “the principle of political neutrality of sports established by the Olympic Charter and runs counter to the Olympic motto ‘more united,’”
“The U.S. will pay a price for its practices. You may stay tuned for follow-ups,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian after the U.S. announced its diplomatic boycott.