Canadian Foreign Minister Says Irresponsible “Tough Talk” with China was in Vain

Canada will continue to press China to improve its human rights record but is not interested in tough irresponsible dialogue, Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said on Monday.

Bilateral ties between the two nations effectively froze in December 2018 when Canadian police picked up a senior Huawei Technologies Co Ltd executive on a U.S. arrest warrant.

China subsequently arrested two Canadian citizens and blocked imports of lucrative canola seed.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal minority government is under pressure from the official Conservative opposition to crack down by banning Huawei from supplying equipment for 5G telecommunications and blocking what it calls interference. Chinese into Canadian internal affairs.

“To those who are seduced by this one-dimensional view I say this: while it is easy to be tough, let’s continue to be smart,” Champagne said, noting China’s economic power and its central role in fighting climate change.

“Let’s not fall into the temptation of tough and irresponsible rhetoric that will generate no tangible results” for the detainees, Canadian farmers, the business community and human rights advocates, he told a special parliamentary committee on Canada-China relations.

Canada will continue to work with allies to put pressure on China to detain foreign nationals and its grip in Hong Kong and the Xinjiang region, Champagne said,

In July, Canada became the first country to suspend an extradition treaty with Hong Kong following China’s new national security law. Earlier this month, the country promised to create more favourable conditions for Hong Kong youths to study and work in Canada.

“It is absolutely imperative that advanced democracies like Canada and our like-minded partners work together to protect the international rules that have ensured stability and prosperity for decades,” Champagne said. “It is a challenge we all share. No country will succeed alone.”

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