Canada-China, the time of the glaciation

To analyse. China is not about to tremble, but Canada seems to be waking up. After nearly three years of acute diplomatic crisis linked to the arrest, at the request of American justice, of Meng Wanzhou, the former number two of the telecommunications giant Huawei, in Vancouver, in 2018, and the imprisonment of two Canadian nationals by China in retaliation, settlement of case ” amicably “ in September 2021 foreshadowed an easing of relations between Beijing and Ottawa. But a change in tone and, even more, in strategy, by Canada with regard to the Middle Kingdom, reignited hostilities.

Proof of this icy atmosphere, while the Chinese president is taking advantage of his return to the international scene at the G20 summit in Bali to stuff his one-on-one agenda with foreign heads of state, Xi Jinping has not deign to organize an official meeting with the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. A heated altercation between the two men, Wednesday, November 16, on the sidelines of the summit, filmed by television cameras, revealed the state of tension in their relations.

Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, given as a probable successor to Justin Trudeau, has drawn the outlines of this new Canadian-Chinese relationship which irritates Beijing. In an October 11 speech at the Brookings Institute, a Washington think tank, in which she sounded the death knell for the era of rapprochement between democratic countries and authoritarian regimes that has been underway since the fall of the Berlin Wall , Chrystia Freeland called on democracies to unite economically to resist autocratic regimes.

“Insurance Against War”

Citing Vladimir Putin’s Russia, but also China and its diplomacy ” the wolf’s “who “also cleverly and voluntarily instrumentalizes its economic ties with us to achieve its geopolitical objectives”she has taken on board the virtues of “friend shoring” (“friendlocation” in its text in French), a term put forward by the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, Janet Yellen, to extol the interest of democracies in strengthening their respective supply chains in order to free themselves from the influence of authoritarian regimes . “Since 1989, we have reaped the dividends of peace. Now is the time to take out war insurance”, she assured.

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“Ottawa has finally understood that it is necessary to abandon all illusions about Xi Jinping, it is a salutary realization because this regime only knows the language of firmness”, welcomed Guy Saint-Jacques, Canadian ambassador to China until 2016. This firm language advocating “decoupling” with China quickly materialized. The Canadian government ordered three Chinese firms to exit the rare minerals industry in Canada, before announcing, on behalf of the “national security”want to restrict foreign investment in this sector in the future.

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