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.
- Context: Paul Triolo on Meng’s arrest or listen to these two Sinica Podcasts with Julian Ku, and with Samm Sacks and Paul Triolo.
- President of European Council Donald Tusk on Twitter: “Good phone call with PM Justin Trudeau. Both Canada and EU stand by the rule of law underpinning the global order. EU calls for the release of the Canadian citizens detained in China.”
- A growing number of scholars are scared to visit China now, the South China Morning Post reports.
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.
- “A Canadian man who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for drug smuggling in China will face a retrial on Monday,” reports Agence France-Presse, “which could hand him a harsher sentence and further strain ties between Beijing and Ottawa.”
- The New York Times on the affair: China’s ambassador to Canada blames ‘white supremacy’ in feud over arrests (porous paywall).