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China to Canada: Trampling on the rights of Chinese citizens comes with a high cost

By Curtis Stone (People's Daily Online)    09:57, December 10, 2018

(Photo/China Daily)

The international community is deeply shocked by what occurred in Canada—a country that claims to always stand up for human rights. A Chinese citizen transferring flights in Vancouver, Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of the Chinese tech firm Huawei Technologies, was arbitrarily detained in Canada at the behest of the United States. The vile act was a serious violation of the lawful rights and interests of a Chinese citizen, triggering a tornado of criticism and creating unnecessary tensions between the two countries.

In a commentary bylined Zhong Sheng ("Voice of China"), the People’s Daily sternly condemned the act by Canada and the US, saying the detention of an individual without clear reason constitutes a flagrant violation of human rights. It said Canadian police even ignored the spirit of the law by presuming Meng Wanzhou guilty without trial, trampling on her basic human rights, and insulted her personal dignity by handcuffing and shackling her like she was some kind of notorious criminal. Canada should really reflect on what it means to be a civilized country with laws—and for that matter, a sovereign country.

Canada and the United States have a special relationship and the two countries share deeply integrated economies. However, as the arrest of Meng Wanzhou shows, Canada sometimes acts more like America’s “51st state” than a sovereign country with a will of its own.

Rather than frequently act like America’s trusty sidekick, Canada should exercise its sovereign right to reject the underlying anti-China bias driving the US government’s plan to crush Huawei, and instead do what is best for Canada and its important and growing relationship with China. As Canada’s second largest trading partner in agriculture and food, China is vital to the continued growth of the Canadian economy.

The use of all kinds of dirty tricks to suppress Huawei has exposed some truly dark intentions toward China and its leading technology firms, but those who harbor such intentions are destined to shoot themselves in the foot. This is because every move that Huawei makes affects the world.

Huawei, which its founder Ren Zhengfei started with just 20,000 yuan in Shenzhen some three decades ago, has grown to become one of the world’s most valuable companies, with more than 2,000 component and service suppliers, including Chinese companies such as AAC Technologies, BYD, and Foxconn, but also American companies such as Qualcomm, Intel, and Broadcom. After it was reported that Huawei’s CFO was detained by Canadian authorities, US stocks fell sharply across the board.

The People’s Daily commentary warned that while China does not want to cause trouble, China is not afraid of trouble either, adding that it would be a mistake to underestimate the confidence, will, and strength of the country.

After learning about Meng Wanzhou’s detention in Canada, the Chinese government lodged a protest with the Canadian side, made clear its position, and provided consular assistance to the Chinese national. On Saturday, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng summoned Canada’s Ambassador to China, John McCallum, to issue a stern warning: immediately release our citizen or bear the consequences. Then, on Sunday, the Chinese side summoned US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad to protest Meng Wenzhou’s detention by Canadian authorities at the unreasonable behest of the United States.

China’s message to Canada is clear: Canada must correct its mistake and immediately stop violating her lawful rights and interests, as well as give the Chinese people a proper explanation for this disgusting and vile act made at the behest of the United States.

Otherwise, as the Chinese side has warned, Canada will pay a heavy price. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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