Trudeau shoots back at China’s claim it is being ‘naive’ in courting allies

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that President Donald Trump made good on his pledge to raise the plight of the two Canadians imprisoned in China with President Xi Jinping.

Trudeau said Trump did raise the cases of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor with Xi during their meeting at the G20 leaders’ summit in Japan this past weekend, just as he pledged to do in their White House meeting last month.

“I can confirm now that Mr. Trump did speak to his Chinese counterpart about the detainees,” Trudeau told reporters at a transit announcement in Montreal.

It was not clear from public comments by the leaders as the summit was wrapping and the days since then whether that actually occurred. Trudeau later said he was “confident” Trump had done as he’d promised.

Trudeau also shot back at a Chinese government spokesman who accused Canada on Wednesday of being “naive” in assuming that Trump did it any favours by raising the matter with Xi.

Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, twice derided Canada for relying on a “so-called” ally and said China would allow no interference in its affairs.

“On the contrary what we’re seeing really is that our allies (are) helping us and showing they’re concerned about the behaviour of China towards Canada,” Trudeau said Thursday.

“Our allies know it is now time to come together to support the values that we share, the rule of law as well. We’ll continue to work with our allies to demonstrate to our Chinese partners that we will remain firm, steadfast and will continue to defend the rule of law and Canadians’ safety.”

Trudeau said Canada, the U.S. and others are telling China they’re all concerned about its behaviour and that it needs to follow the rule of law and other international standards.

“And the fact that there are so many people, not just the United States but others, who are speaking clearly and strongly to China that this behaviour is not in their interest, not in China’s interest, and not indeed in keeping with the peace and security and the rules-based order that we’ve established in the world, is a very important and effective message.”

Trudeau said Canada, along with its allies, will continue to push that message “as we move forward in a global economy in which China continues and will continue to occupy a growing space, that the understanding of our rules, of the rule of law and of indeed the rules-based order is something that is clearly communicated.”

Trudeau also reiterated that he had his own pull-aside conversations with Xi at the G20 that he said were “constructive as we move forward to resolve these challenges.”

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Wednesday Trudeau has done “nothing” to help Kovrig and Spavor.

“He’s relying on the charity now of Donald Trump and other world leaders to do for him what he’s not willing to do for himself, and that’s stand up for this country,” Scheer said at an event in Yukon.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New post-secondary funding model in Alberta tied to performance measures

CALGARY — Alberta’s new funding model for post-secondary institutions ties some of… Continue reading

Armed Forces arrive in St. John’s as state of emergency stretches into fourth day

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A state of emergency is stretching into its… Continue reading

Growing natural-disaster response risks dulling Army’s fighting edge: Commander

OTTAWA — Canada’s top soldier is warning that as the Army gets… Continue reading

Trudeau to meet potential bridge-builder Pallister during cabinet retreat

WINNIPEG — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet today with the least… Continue reading

Two-vehicle collsion near Penhold

Sunday collision blocked intersection

WATCH: Canadian kid shovelling snow video goes viral

Rory might just be Canada’s most popular toddler right now, thanks to… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Jan. 22 Downtown House Senior Center (5414 43 St.) in Red Deer… Continue reading

Oil and gas industry needs to do more to address climate change, IEA report says

CALGARY — A report by the International Energy Agency says the oil… Continue reading

Special Canada-China parliamentary committee to hold first meeting in Ottawa

OTTAWA — A new special parliamentary committee created to examine Canada’s fraught… Continue reading

Crowd of thousands clogs downtown Richmond to defend right to bear arms

RICHMOND, Va. — Tens of thousands of protesters, many decked out in… Continue reading

Poll suggests some don’t think Canada should send troops to stop genocide

OTTAWA — A new poll suggests there are some in this country… Continue reading

Former 1,500 specialist Elmore likely Tokyo-bound after breaking marathon mark

When Malindi Elmore reinvented herself as a marathon runner a year ago,… Continue reading

Canada’s Shapovalov upset by Fucsovics in first round of Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia — Canada’s Denis Shapovalov lost a lengthy four-set match with… Continue reading

Prince Harry: ‘Powerful media’ is why he’s stepping away

LONDON — Prince Harry took aim at the journalists who have dissected… Continue reading

Most Read