Meng issues an open letter on anniversary of arrest . . .
Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s arrest in Vancouver on a U.S. extradition request. To commemorate the occasion, Meng wrote an open letter she posted on Huawei’s website detailing her life on bail and thanking her supporters and the “kindness” of people in Canada. Her letter has received more than 60 million views and stirred up a nationalistic fervour on Chinese social media. China’s ambassador to Canada visited Meng at her Vancouver residence last week and reiterated that Canada should “correct its mistake” and grant Meng her freedom.
Divergent narratives . . .
Chinese media broadly covered the anniversary and many people in China voiced their concern and anger over Meng’s detention in Canada. News reports frequently quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying’s comment yesterday that Meng’s case is a “serious political incident that grossly violates the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese citizen.” The media praised Meng for her resilience and optimism. News coverage in China, however, has not included mention of the two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, who have been detained in China since shortly after Meng’s arrest a year ago.
Uncertain future for Canada-China relations . . .
Meng’s arrest has severely soured Canada-China relations over the past year. According to the most recent analysis by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, Canada’s exports to China took a deep blow dropping by C$1.5 billion in the first three quarters of 2019. As we near the end of 2019, the future of Canada-China relations remains uncertain. Canada’s new Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne said in an interview yesterday that he wants a new ‘framework' on Canada-China relations. But we will likely have to wait until the new year to see what this framework will look like.