Trudeau: West should unite to gain access to China’s economy

REUTERS

Western countries should have a united front against the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to prevent the Asian state from using commercial interests to play them against each other, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in an interview aired December 25, 2021.

Trudeau, pictured, said the PRC has been pitting Western countries against each other as they compete for access to economic opportunities in China.

“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,” he said in an interview with Global television.

“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.”

Relations between Canada and the PRC have been chilly since the 2018 detention of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. extradition warrant. The PRC detained two Canadians shortly afterward, denying Ottawa’s accusations of hostage diplomacy.

Meng reached a deal with U.S. prosecutors in September 2021, ending the extradition fight, and the two Canadians were released within hours of the agreement.

Even before Meng’s arrest, Canada’s repeated questioning of the PRC’s human rights abuses had irked Beijing. Then in early December 2021, Canada said it will join allies in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing in February 2022 to send the PRC a message over its human rights record.

IMAGE CREDIT: AFP/GETTY IMAGES