Chinese ambassador to Canada: Arresting Canadians is ‘self-defense’

Foreign Affairs

Writing in the Hill Times, the Chinese ambassador to Canada, Lú Shāyě 卢沙野, clarifies that the detentions of former diplomat Michael Kovrig and social entrepreneur Michael Spavor are retaliation for the arrest of Huawei CFO Mèng Wǎnzhōu 孟晚舟:

I have recently heard a word repeatedly pronounced by some Canadians: bullying. They said that by arresting two Canadian citizens as retaliation for Canada’s detention of Meng, China was bullying Canada. To those people, China’s self-defense is an offense to Canada. If someone slaps you on your left cheek, give him your right cheek, they told us. But I have never seen them doing as they said.

Beijing’s detention of two Canadians — including the political analyst Michael Kovrig — has sent a “chill” through American researchers studying China, even if think tanks are not yet cautioning them against visiting the country.

That was the assessment of prominent U.S.-based sinologist Bonnie Glaser on Thursday when asked in Singapore about whether the arrests in December were affecting China-focused academics.

This is something I can confirm, if the anecdotal evidence of my social and professional circle is a guide.