Trudeau fires Canadian ambassador to China while U.S. unveils criminal charges against Huawei

Domestic News

The breaking news of the day is that U.S. Department of Justice has levied criminal charges against Huawei, accusing it of stealing trade secrets, breaking confidentiality agreements, and violating sanctions against Iran. “Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker was joined by Department of Homeland (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and several U.S. attorneys for the announcement at DOJ headquarters on Monday,” CBS reports.

The Chinese government has yet to react.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, Star Vancouver deputy bureau chief Joanna Chiu reported remarks by Canada’s ambassador to China, John McCallum, that “it would be ‘great for Canada’ if the U.S. dropped its extradition request for Huawei CFO Mèng Wǎnzhōu 孟晚舟.” This was the second time in the last week that McCallum had made remarks that appeared contrary to Canadian government messaging. This time, he was fired by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“Speaking at a regular press briefing Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Gěng Shuǎng 耿爽 declined to comment on McCallum’s dismissal, calling it ‘an internal matter for Canada,’” reports CNN, but state media felt no such restraint.

“Removal of envoy part of ‘immoral’ practices” is how the state-owned China Daily headlined a brief note on McCallum’s sacking, while nationalistic rag Global Times went with more salty language:

As a Chinese folk saying goes, “You cannot live the life of a whore and expect a monument to your chastity.” Canada is a country worthy of respect, but some Canadians must be reminded that they are now refusing to face up to the moral predicament. They are against moral righteousness while deceiving themselves to believe that they can be honored as moral models.

The Chinese saying is “当婊子立牌坊” (dāng biǎo zi lì páifāng), which I would translate less literally as “acting shamelessly and then erecting a monument to your virtue.” This is in fact a specialty of the Global Times, a newspaper that regularly publishes articles containing distortions and made-up quotes, and had the gall to call out Joanna Chiu for her “professional ethics” in reporting the story.

Further signs of the chilling effects of China’s treatment of Canadians and others: China scholar Geremie Barmé gave an interview to Radio New Zealand, which it published with the title: China tensions: ‘I wouldn’t be rushing to Beijing.’ See also: No longer safe: Researcher harassed by China in her own country, in the Sydney Morning Herald, about the ongoing harassment of scholar Anne-Marie Brady.