China’s ambassador to Canada accused the Canadian people of “white supremacy” Thursday over the government’s treatment of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.
In an op-ed in the Ottawa-based The Hill Times, Lu Shaye said Canadians were hypocritical for complaining about the detention of two their citizens by Beijing while failing to show any sympathy for Meng.
“They said that by arresting two Canadian citizens as retaliation for Canada's detention of Meng, China was bullying Canada. To those people, China's self-defense is an offense to Canada.”
“The reason why some people are used to arrogantly adopting double standards is due to Western egotism and white supremacy,” he added.
Meng was arrested on Dec.1 while transferring flights in Vancouver after an extradition warrant was issued by the U.S. Justice Department. Washington alleges that the executive helped Huawei evade sanctions preventing the sale of U.S. technology to Iran.
Days later, China arrested two Canadian citizens — Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig — on suspicion of “activities that endangered China's national security.”
Since Meng’s arrest, China has detained a total of 13 Canadians, but 8 have since been released and the number is consistent with previous years, a Canadian government official told the Globe and Mail.
Canada is seeking U.S. help to secure the release of Spavor and Kovrig and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with Donald Trump Wednesday, thanking him “for the strong statements of support by the United States in response to the arbitrary detention of two Canadians in China.”
While tensions between Ottawa and Beijing are new, Meng’s arrest bleeds in to a broader conflict between Washington and Beijing over trade.
The conflict with Huawei in the U.S. dates back to the last administration when Washington moved to block the Chinese telecoms giant from selling their equipment based on a 2012 Congressional report labeling the company a national security risk.
Those tensions have escalated in recent years, with the U.S. government now working to convince its allies in the global Five Eyes surveillance network to adopt similar bans.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the Department of Commerce had declined to renew an export license for Huawei’s Silicon Valley-based research and development center, preventing the company sending some telecoms technologies and software back home.
The government claims the decision — taken in June — is not linked to the current trade negotiations.
“The process for granting export licenses is independent from our ongoing trade discussions with China,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement to the Journal.
Cover image: Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co., leaves her home under the supervision of security in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Ben Nelms/Bloomberg via Getty Images)