Commentary on Political Economy

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

 

Trudeau Rips Into China After Tit-for-Tat Diplomacy at UN

  • Canada wants Beijing to allow investigators into Xinjiang
  • China seeks probe into Ottawa’s treatment of Indigenous people
Justin Trudeau.
Justin Trudeau. Photographer: David Kawai/Bloomberg

Justin Trudeau had harsh words for China after Beijing called for a United Nations probe into crimes against Indigenous children in Canada.

The prime minister, asked about the move Tuesday, slammed the “systemic abuse and human rights violations” against Uighur Muslims, as well as the situations in Hong Kong and Tibet.

Chinese diplomats raised Canada’s treatment of its First Nations in an apparent response to Ottawa joining an international effort to force Beijing to allow UN officials access to Xinjiang province.

“The journey of reconciliation is a long one, but it is a journey that we are on. China is not recognizing that there is even a problem. That’s a pretty fundamental difference,” Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa. “That is why Canadians, and people from around the world, are speaking up for people like the Uighurs who find themselves voiceless, faced with a government that will not recognize what’s happening to them.”

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Trudeau’s comments will likely further strain ties between Canada and its second-largest trading partner. Relations have soured steadily since the 2018 arrest of a Chinese telecommunications executive on a U.S. extradition request and the subsequent detention of two Canadians by authorities in Beijing. This year, Canada’s legislature passed a motion designating the treatment of the Uighurs as genocide.

More on Canada’s feud with China:
Tim Culpan

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