Pompeo takes aim at China over diplomatic feud with Canada

23 Août, 2019, 20:38 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Hong Kong riot police clash with masked protesters at Yuen Long station

"Please do know our team is focused on helping those two Canadians be released", Pompeo said to Trudeau, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and members of the media.

While delivering a foreign policy speech in Montreal on Wednesday, Trudeau said his government is monitoring the situation in Hong Kong "closely" and despite political differences with China, Canada will continue to defend its values of human rights and global law. "We are working on it diligently".

Both Canada and the USA are locked in differing battles with Beijing - the Americans over trade issues, primarily, while Canada is in a diplomatic dance over the detention of Kovrig and Spavor in China and that of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou here.

Ahead of the sit down on Parliament Hill that marks his first official visit to Canada, Pompeo said it is wrong the two continue to be held. But during the Q&A, Pompeo took exception to Times reporter Lara Jakes' question about whether Canada "could ask the United States to drop its extradition demand of Ms. Meng (Wanzhou)" to secure the release of two Canadians held in China.

OTTAWA-U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is taking direct aim at how China has tied the detention of two Canadians there to the arrest in Canada of a Chinese tech executive, saying the issues are not "morally similar" in any respect.

Border agents detained her under the pretense of an immigration matter and never alerted her to the U.S. warrant for her arrest, questioning her for hours before eventually handing her over to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the lawyers said.

Pompeo was visiting Ottawa for the day ahead of a weekend summit of the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations in France where relations with China are set to be discussed.

On Thursday, the USA secretary of state also offered assurances of the Trump administration's support for two Canadians detained in China. No evidence has been provided and they have not been allowed access to family members or lawyers while in custody.

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In apparent retaliation, China arrested two Canadian, and accused them of espionage, while blocking billions of dollars in Canadian agricultural shipments.

The next month, the US charged Meng and her company with 23 counts of corporate espionage and violating sanctions on Iran.

Meng is now out on bail in Vancouver awaiting an extradition hearing scheduled to start in January.

Her arrest put Canada in the centre of a diplomatic struggle between China and the United States, which sought her arrest and is seeking her extradition.

Ms Meng is now living under house arrest in Vancouver, Canada, and is waging a legal battle against extradition to the US.

The United States, Mexico and Canada signed a new continental trade pact in November. Under his Liberal government, he said, Canada has become a world leader on advocacy for climate change as well as the rights of women, girls and LGBTQ people. The surprise announcement is likely to set back US efforts to bolster security cooperation with two of its most important allies in the Asian region.

Trudeau, speaking ahead of Pompeo, said he would be both thanking the Americans for their support on the detainees "and continuing to talk how we move forward on that". He said he spoke to his South Korean counterpart earlier Thursday.

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