China urges Canada to remove obstacles in bilateral relations

Gao Wei
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged Canada to remove the main obstacles in bilateral relations during his visit to Italy.
Gao Wei

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged Canada to remove the main obstacles in bilateral relations during his visit to Italy.

During his meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne in Rome on Wednesday, Wang said that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-Canada relations. Fifty years ago, Canadian leaders got rid of external interferences, withstood pressures from all sides and established diplomatic relations with China, which is a step in the right direction, he noted.

Wang said there is no historical dispute between China and Canada, neither is there any actual conflict of interest, but Canada’s detention of Chinese citizen for no reason has caused serious difficulties in bilateral ties.

Wang hoped that Canada would act as an independent country and resolve the matter as soon as possible.

Champagne said that the past 50 years have witnessed significant development of China-Canada relations, adding that the Canadian side is willing to work with China, in the spirit of mutual respect, to seek a way to solve problems to boost bilateral relations.

Wang is on a five-nation European tour, which will also take him to the Netherlands, Norway, France and Germany. The two men previously held face-to-face talks in Japan in November 2019.

Ties between the two countries deteriorated in December 2018 after Canadian police detained Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, on a US extradition warrant.

Meng, who is charged with bank fraud linked to alleged violations of US sanctions against Iran, remains under house arrest in Vancouver while Canadian courts hear the case for her extradition.

A bid by her lawyers to access intelligence documents to support claims of abuse of process was denied by Canada’s federal court on Tuesday.

Meng’s lawyers sought access to the documents to support claims of abuse of process, which could result in a stay of the extradition proceedings. The court found that the information contained in the documents “is not relevant to the allegations of abuse of process described by counsel for Ms Meng.”

“The information does not provide the ‘missing pieces of the puzzle’ that Ms Meng seeks,” Justice Catherine Kane wrote in the decision.

The judge also agreed with the attorney general that their disclosure “would be injurious to national security or international relations.”

Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that the current difficulties in China-Canada relations are not caused by China, adding that the Canadian side knows very well what the crux of the problem is.

He was responding to a question on China’s stance on the cases of two Canadians arrested in China.

Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were charged with espionage in June.

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