Tourism minister postpones trip to China amid tensions between two countries

Tourism minister postpones trip to China amid tensions between two countries

Tourism minister postpones trip to China amid tensions

OTTAWA — Tourism Minister Melanie Joly won’t go to China to mark the end of a special year of tourism exchanges, she announced Friday, as relations between the two countries continued to plummet.

The decision puts the brakes on a major Sino-Canadian initiative meant to deepen ties between the countries.

Joly spokesman Jeremy Ghio said the two countries “mutually agreed to postpone” a ceremony marking the end of the Canada-China Year of Tourism to ”allow us to better achieve our shared objectives.”

The cancellation follows Canada’s arrest — at the U.S.’s behest — of a leading Chinese telecom executive and Beijing’s apparent retaliation by detaining two Canadians.

Since coming to power in 2015, the Liberals’ work to broaden Canada’s economic relationship with China has featured regular ministerial visits and yearly meetings between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

On a trip to Beijing a year ago, Trudeau announced that 2018 would be the year of Canada-China tourism — meant to tap the economic potential of upwardly mobile Chinese travellers.

Joly was in China in April when she was still heritage minister, bringing with her representatives from 60 different cultural organizations hoping to break into the Chinese market.

Last month, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and International Trade Minister Jim Carr were in Beijing for meetings with their counterparts. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna recently completed a trip to China to forge links on climate change and fostering clean energy.

Speaking from an international climate-change gathering in Poland, McKenna said she is still able to work with her Chinese counterpart, noting Canada has to work with China if it wants to ensure countries meet global greenhouse-gas reduction targets.

“I certainly acknowledge that there are challenges at home, but in this context, my focus is on working with all countries to come up with solutions,” she said on a conference call with reporters.

Canada-China co-operation appears to be in tatters following the Dec. 1 arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver. Canada is now the subject of scorn in China, across social media and in the country’s state-run media.

The Americans accuse Meng of committing bank fraud in connection with an alleged attempt to circumvent American sanctions against Iran. She was released this week on $10 million bail, but will face a Canadian court hearing to determine whether she will be extradited to the U.S.

Beijing warned Ottawa of severe consequences unless Meng is released. The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa loudly protested Meng’s arrest as a violation of her human rights.

Then on Monday, China arrested two Canadian men — former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor.

Speaking in Washington, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Chinese officials have not drawn a connection between the arrests and Meng’s case whenever they have spoken with Canadian officials.

“From Canada’s perspective, these kinds of issues ought never to be confused with one another,” she said.

The Canadian Press

China

Just Posted

New admissions have been suspended for Engineering Technology diplomas (Instrumentation, Electrical and Mechanical) and the Transitional Vocational Program at Red Deer College. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Developmentally disabled impacted: Red Deer College suspends program

Transitional Vocational Program comes to an end

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw is asking Albertans to do their part by observing gathering limits, staying home if unwell, wearing masks and maintaining physical distance. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Three new Central zone COVID-19 deaths, Alberta adds 1,433 cases

Red Deer down to 802 active cases of COVID-19

NDP education critic Sarah Hoffman holds up freedom of information requests that turned up no records. The Opposition requested back-to-school re-entry plan correspondence between Education Minister Adriana LaGrange and school boards, teachers and the media. Photo via Facebook live
NDP renews calls for Alberta gov’t to scrap K-6 draft curriculum

The NDP is once again calling on the Alberta Government to get… Continue reading

Earlier this week Alberta Health Services warned that Rocky Mountain House Health Centre emergency department would be temporarily without physician coverage from May 12, at 6 p.m., to May 13, at 7 a.m. (Photo contributed by the Town of Rocky Mountain House)
Doctors needed in Rocky Mountain House

Emergency department temporarily closed due to doctor shortage

The owner of Mae’s Kitchen in Mirror, says hamlet residents were ‘disheartened’ by a recent anti-restriction protest. The restaurant is following all the health restrictions in place. (Photo courtesy Mae’s Kitchen Facebook)
‘We don’t need that’: Mirror restaurant against recent anti-restriction protest

A week after a large anti-restriction protest at The Whistle Stop Cafe… Continue reading

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

Winnipeg Jets' Kyle Connor (81) scores on Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (36) as TJ Brodie (78) defends during second-period NHL action in Winnipeg on Friday, May 14, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Connor scores twice, Jets beat Leafs in regular-season finale

Connor scores twice, Jets beat Leafs in regular-season finale

Atletico Ottawa defender Vashon Neufville controls the ball during Atletico Ottawa’s first team practice of their inaugural season in the Canadian Premier League in Ottawa, Wednesday June 3, 2020. The Canadian Premier League plans to kick off its third season mid-June to early July in one location without fans. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Wattie
Canadian Premier League delays kickoff again, looks to mid-June to early July start

Canadian Premier League delays kickoff again, looks to mid-June to early July start

Calgary’s Stephen Ames shoots 66 to take Mitsubishi Electric lead

Calgary’s Stephen Ames shoots 66 to take Mitsubishi Electric lead

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) deflects a shot against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, May 8, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
NHL postseason: Who’s hot as the playoffs arrive?

NHL postseason: Who’s hot as the playoffs arrive?

Ottawa Senators' Connor Brown, right, celebrates a goal with teammates during third period NHL action against the Montreal Canadiens, in Ottawa, Wednesday, March 5, 2021. Brown will lead a young Canadian squad into the world hockey championship in Riga, Latvia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Ottawa forward Connor Brown leads Canada’s roster at world championship

Ottawa forward Connor Brown leads Canada’s roster at world championship

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2018, file photo, Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Jayna Hefford shakes hands with people associated with the hall before a hockey game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New Jersey Devils in Toronto. The Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association is forging ahead in its bid to establish an economically sustainable professional league in North America with or — for now — without the NHL’s full financial backing. In response to Sportsnet.ca reporting the NHL was not in a position to operate a women’s league for the foreseeable future, PWHPA executive Jayna Hefford wrote in an email to The Associated Press late Thursday that her group has begun developing what she called “a parallel path for a future that doesn’t rely on NHL support.” (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
PWHPA forging ahead without NHL backing of women’s hockey

PWHPA forging ahead without NHL backing of women’s hockey

‘No secrets’ and no certainty in one-of-a-kind NHL playoffs

‘No secrets’ and no certainty in one-of-a-kind NHL playoffs

Supporters dance during a rally against measures taken by government and health authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 at the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror, Alta., on Saturday, May 8, 2021. RCMP say they have ticketed four people after the rally that was attended by hundreds.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta leadership responsible for protests against public health orders: expert

Alberta leadership responsible for protests against public health orders: expert

Most Read