Canada’s National Post reports:
Shelve any talk of a free trade deal; complain to the WTO; expel China’s Winter Olympic athletes. Kick out the ambassador himself. As China further tightens the screws on Canadian exports and expatriates, pressure is mounting on the federal government to do something to retaliate in what has been a largely one-sided conflict between the nations.
Two former ambassadors to Beijing and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer are among those calling on the Liberal government this week to abandon its non-confrontational approach and take stiffer action, arguing the current strategy has achieved little.
Beijing is apparently ready to retaliate if Canada gets tough. CBC reports:
China has asked its regional governments to draw up a list of business dealings they have with Canadian firms in order to widen the scope of ways the superpower can strike back against Canada in the ongoing dispute over the arrest of a senior Chinese telecom executive, said former Canadian ambassador to China Guy Saint-Jacques.
See also this frothing at the mouth from nationalist rag Global Times: Rising calls for China to get tough on Canada, as Ottawa escalates diplomatic spat.
Australia is also suffering the wrath of Beijing. Bloomberg last week reported (porous paywall):
China will maintain a slowdown in coal imports from Australia until Beijing has assessed government policy in Canberra after federal elections in May, according to people with knowledge of the plan.
Chinese Customs in January told local officials to start controlling imports of Australian coal, without giving explicit instructions as to how or why. That’s resulted in delays to clearance at some ports and additional testing at others, prompting concern that Beijing is retaliating against Australia’s ban on Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co.