OTTAWA – The prime minister Justin Trudeau rejects calls to and including termination of the ambassador of Canada to China, John McCallum. He said that such a gesture would not help to speed up the release of two citizens detained by the chinese authorities.
In a press conference at New Brunswick, on Thursday, Justin Trudeau was asked about his intentions regarding possible sanctions or even the recall of its ambassador to Beijing. John McCallum has been criticized to have commented to journalists the extradition case to the United States of the chief financial officer of Huawei, held in Canada, in giving his opinion on how she could avoid extradition.
Justin Trudeau said that the government’s attention is turned towards the return of the Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, as well as the respect of their rights.
Comments candid of John McCallum about the matter Meng Wanzhou have raised some eyebrows and prompted numerous reactions, when some saw in it a political ploy to resolve the serious crisis in diplomatic relations between Ottawa and Beijing.
The spokesperson of the chinese ministry of foreign Affairs, Hua Chunying, said that his government has taken “note of the relevant comments of the ambassador McCallum” and again demanded the release of Ms. Meng to his unjust detention, for which she blames Canada and the United States.
“Our firm position is very clear,” said Ms. Hua, according to an English version of his remarks posted on the website of his ministry. In order to change the current situation, the canadian side must face the problem head-on, take seriously the serious concerns of China and take measures to rectify its errors.”
She recalled that Canada acts pursuant to an extradition request of the United States.
“We hope that the canadian side will take the right decision instead of risking putting themselves in danger for the benefit of others”, said Ms. Hua.
MESSRS. Kovrig and Spavor were arrested a few days after Ms. Meng. Mr. Trudeau denounced their detention as “arbitrary” and western analysts see it as an attempt by Beijing to put pressure on Canada to secure the release of Ms. Meng.
During a press conference with the media chinese-speakers in the Toronto area, Mr. McCallum stated that in his opinion Ms. Meng has good legal arguments which could allow him to avoid extradition to the United States. He even listed a few.
The leader of the conservative Party of Canada, Andrew Scheer, has jumped on the occasion to demand the dismissal of the ambassador in China for these statements. It denounces the fact that these comments could call into question the separation of powers political and legal.
The statements of Mr. McCallum, have marked a radical change compared to the firm public position of the Trudeau government, according to which the possible extradition of Meng Wanzhou follows a process that is independent and apolitical – which must be respected.
On Wednesday, Justin Trudeau said he expected that the financial director of Huawei defends himself fully to avoid being extradited to the United States, but he does not assume the solidity of its folder.
“We have known since the beginning how important it is to defend the rule of law, ensure the application in the integrity of the system of justice, has repeated Mr. Trudeau to journalists. Of course, it includes the right of any accused to defend themselves fully of the charges against her, and that is exactly what we expect in this case.”
Canada’s ambassador to China, John McCallum, Sherbrooke, on January 16
The canadian Press, Paul Chiasson