Maybe there’s a way for Canada to resolve its diplomatic impasse with China arising from the arrest of Huawei’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou.
Efforts on the part of our government to resolve the ever-growing fiasco are not working. Canada doesn’t have the clout to tell China to behave in a civilized manner.
So, a couple of scapegoat Canadians will continue to languish in Chinese prison and our canola and meat shipments will rot in dry dock. And, since Meng’s hearing doesn’t even start until sometime in 2020, there’s more retribution coming.
Meng was detained in Vancouver at the request of the U.S. government. It wants her extradited to face charges relating to Huawei’s breach of U.S./Iran embargo rules.
It has been suggested that Canada unilaterally discontinue the extradition proceedings. While this would solve our problem with the Chinese, it would be contrary to Canada’s polite policy of upholding the rule of law and would invoke the wrath of America.
So that isn’t going to happen.
We’re going to have to buy ourselves out of this one. What needs to happen is for the U.S. to withdraw its extradition request.
Why would they do that? Because Canada would quietly offer the U.S. a concession on an entirely unrelated matter that is currently irritating the U.S. president.
Maybe agree to call the new NAFTA by Donald Trump’s preferred moniker, USMCA. Also, this is going to have to be a tri-lateral deal, so the Chinese are going to have to buck up as well.
Perhaps a minor compromise relating to China’s ongoing trade war with the U.S.
Trump is willing to quickly resolve almost any dispute – provided he can claim victory. And he doesn’t care if it’s apples or bananas up for grabs, as long as he only gives up one and the other guy pays two.
Win, win, win. Canada’s two improperly detained citizens return home, canola and meat start getting unloaded in Shanghai – and Canada’s PM can boast that Canada has remained on the high road.
Meanwhile, Meng can go back to China and continue doing whatever nefarious activity she was accused of – and she gets to keep the Vancouver mansions.
As for Trump? He’ll be short an apple or two, but the larder will be loaded with bananas to tweet about.
Gerry Feehan, Red Deer