China urges Canada to make efforts to improve ties

Beijing, Apr 6 (EFE).- China’s foreign minister has urged Canada to make efforts to overcome frictions between the countries due to the case involving Meng Wanzhou, a Huawei executive arrested in Ottawa in December 2018 at the request of Washington and finally released in September last year.

Wang Yi spoke to his Canadian counterpart, Mélanie Joly, in a telephone call overnight and recalled that ties between China and Canada had suffered serious setbacks on account of the Meng Wanzhou incident, according to a statement released by the Chinese foreign ministry on Wednesday.

In this regard, Wang accused the United States of using coercion to suppress China’s high-tech companies and stressed that no country should play “tricks” and encourage such unilateral “bullying.”

He added that any country at the receiving end of such behavior had the right to make the “necessary responses.”

Canadian authorities released Meng after reaching an agreement with the US, which accused the Chinese company of violating sanctions imposed on Iran.

The return of Huawei founder’s daughter was celebrated as a triumphant event in China, contrasting with the quiet release of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, two Canadians detained in China that same year and convicted of espionage in an apparent retaliation by Beijing to Meng’s arrest.

Wang stressed the current state of bilateral relations was not in the interest of either country and urged Canada take steps forward and meet China half-way.

According to the diplomat, Canada has to view China “positively and objectively”, pursue a “prudent and pragmatic” policy towards Beijing, be independent and “eliminate unnecessary external interference” – in a veiled reference to the US – , a request similar to the one recently made to European leaders.

Wang also said both countries should avoid putting new obstacles to bilateral relations, citing the example of Taiwan, an island that China claims.

He added that if the Taiwan issue was not handled properly, ties between China and Canada would suffer “fundamental damage.”

According to the text released by the Chinese ministry, Jolly acknowledged that bilateral relations were at a difficult stage but that the Canadian side was willing to treat China with “mutual respect” to gradually bring ties back on the right track.

Regarding the war in Ukraine, Wang reiterated China’s ambiguous position, under which it has called for the territorial integrity of all countries to be respected and avoided using the word “invasion” to refer to the Russian offensive, while reiterating its opposition to sanctions against Moscow.

Wang also stressed China’s stance of promoting dialog and peace talks. EFE


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