In a fiery op-ed, China’s ambassador to Canada blamed “Western egotism and white supremacy” for the treatment of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who was detained in Vancouver last month, at the request of the United States.
This comes as Canadian politicians are calling on China to release two Canadians who were detained, seemingly in retaliation to Meng’s arrest.
Meng, who has been released on bail in Vancouver, is accused of misleading multinational banks about transactions that could put them at risk of violating the U.S.’ sanctions against Iran.
Former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor, were arrested in China shortly after, and accused of endangering China’s national security. Since then, Canadian politicians, along with countries like the U.S., Germany, Britain, France, the European Union and Australia, have been calling for their release.
In a piece published in the Hill Times on Wednesday, Lu Shaye, the Chinese ambassador argued that those who were accusing China of arbitrarily detaining Kovrig and Spavor were disregarding China’s judicial sovereignty.
Shaye described the detention of Meng “groundless,” saying that the executive hadn’t violated any laws when she was detained at the Vancouver airport and argued that Canadians who were calling for the release of two Canadian citizens in China had shown no “concern or sympathy for Meng after she was illegally detained and deprived of freedom.”
“It seems that, to some people, only Canadian citizens shall be treated in a humanitarian manner and their freedom deemed valuable, while Chinese people do not deserve that,” wrote Shaye.
“The reason why some people are used to arrogantly adopting double standards is due to Western egotism and white supremacy.”
Under the Canada-U.S. extradition agreement, Canada is obligated to “take the necessary steps to secure the arrest of the person claimed” if they receive an appropriate request. Had Canada not arrested Meng, they would’ve been in violation of the agreement.
Canadian consular officials met with Spavor on Tuesday, but Global Affairs has not released any other details. This is the second time they’ve been able to meet with him since he was arrested on Dec. 10, while Kovrig has only been visited once.
Cover image: Ambassador of China to Canada Lu Shaye speaks during an interview with the Canadian Press at the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Ottawa on Thursday, May 24, 2018. China's ambassador to Canada says the country hopes to speed up bilateral trade talks amid a rise of protectionism. (Photo by Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)