Am­bas­sador Cong, Apol­o­gize or leave

Toronto Sun - - COMMENT -

We agree with Con­ser­va­tive leader Erin O’toole in the wake of China’s am­bas­sador to Canada threat­en­ing the safety of 300,000 Cana­di­ans liv­ing in Hong Kong, if Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau grants po­lit­i­cal asy­lum to pro-democ­racy demon­stra­tors there.

As O’toole said, Trudeau should de­mand that Cong Peiwu pub­licly apol­o­gize, and send him pack­ing if he won’t.

Cong’s thinly veiled threat was con­veyed to Cana­di­ans dur­ing a video press con­fer­ence from the Chi­nese em­bassy in Ot­tawa last week.

“We strongly urge the Cana­dian side not (to) grant so-called po­lit­i­cal asy­lum to those vi­o­lent crim­i­nals in Hong Kong, be­cause it is ... in­ter­fer­ence in China’s do­mes­tic af­fairs. And cer­tainly it will em­bolden those vi­o­lent crim­i­nals,” Cong said.

“So if the Cana­dian side re­ally cares about the sta­bil­ity and the pros­per­ity in Hong Kong, and re­ally cares about the good health and safety of those 300,000 Cana­dian pass­port-hold­ers in Hong Kong, and the large num­ber of Cana­dian com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing in Hong Kong, you should sup­port those ef­forts to fight vi­o­lent crimes.”

The vast ma­jor­ity of pro-democ­racy demon­stra­tors in Hong Kong seek­ing asy­lum in Canada are do­ing so be­cause of Bei­jing’s im­po­si­tion of a dra­co­nian na­tional se­cu­rity law.

China’s com­mu­nist dic­ta­tors have re­neged on Bei­jing’s 1984 prom­ise to the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to grant Hong Kong 50 years of au­ton­omy based on the prin­ci­ple of “one coun­try, two sys­tems”, lead­ing up to its 1997 takeover of the city from Bri­tish con­trol.

We un­der­stand Trudeau is in a dif­fi­cult po­si­tion. We urge him to ac­cept a rea­son­able num­ber of Hong Kongers who are le­git­i­mately seek­ing asy­lum in Canada from po­lit­i­cal per­se­cu­tion be­cause of their pro-democ­racy views.

We sup­port Trudeau’s con­tin­u­ing re­fusal to trade Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou — wanted on crim­i­nal charges in the United States — for Canada’s two Michaels — Michael Spa­vor and Michael Kovrig.

China ar­bi­trar­ily ar­rested them in re­tal­i­a­tion for Meng’s law­ful de­ten­tion un­der our ex­tra­di­tion treaty with the U.S. Since then they’ve been held for 679 days in hor­ri­ble con­di­tions on trumped up charges of spy­ing, while Canada has treated Meng hu­manely as her ex­tra­di­tion trial pro­ceeds in Van­cou­ver.

Enough is enough. It’s not enough for the Trudeau gov­ern­ment to pub­licly scold Cong.

If he won’t apol­o­gize and re­tract his threats, boot him back to Bei­jing.

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