‘Ego­tism and white supremacy’ in West­ern re­sponse to de­tainees case: Chi­nese en­voy

Sentinel-Review (Woodstock) - - NATIONAL NEWS - MIKE BLANCH­FIELD

OT­TAWA — Canada and its West­ern al­lies’ calls for the re­lease of two Cana­di­ans de­tained in China are rooted in white supremacy, the Chi­nese am­bas­sador said in a pub­lished op-ed Wed­nes­day.

Ex­perts and an­a­lysts say the harsh lan­guage from the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive in­di­cates the raw nerve that Canada has touched within the com­mu­nist gov­ern­ment with its ef­forts to re­cruit in­ter­na­tional sup­port for its de­tainees.

The U.S State De­part­ment has called for the re­lease of Cana­di­ans Michael Kovrig and Michael Spa­vor, while Ger­many, France, Britain, the Eu­ro­pean Union and Aus­tralia have also is­sued sup­port­ive state­ments.

In an es­say in the Hill Times, which cov­ers Par­lia­ment and the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, Am­bas­sador Lu Shaye ques­tioned whether coun­tries such as the U.S. and Britain are truly rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity and he re­it­er­ated his gov­ern­ment’s as­ser­tion that West­ern coun­tries are em­ploy­ing a “dou­ble stan­dard” in judg­ing his coun­try.

“The rea­son why some peo­ple are used to ar­ro­gantly adopt­ing dou­ble stan­dards is due to West­ern ego­tism and white supremacy,” Lu wrote.

“What they have been do­ing is not show­ing re­spect for the rule of law, but mock­ing and tram­pling the rule of law.”

Kovrig, a Cana­dian diplo­mat on leave, and Spa­vor, an en­tre­pre­neur, were ar­rested af­ter Canada de­tained Chi­nese telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions ex­ec­u­tive Meng Wanzhou at the re­quest of the United States, which wants her ex­tra­dited to face fraud charges. Con­ser­va­tive MP Michael Cooper, who is trav­el­ling with a par­lia­men­tary del­e­ga­tion of MPs and sen­a­tors in China this week, said Lu’s re­marks don’t war­rant a re­sponse.

“I don’t think that there’s any­thing that can be said to that be­cause it’s ab­surd,” Cooper said in a tele­phone in­ter­view.

In their meet­ings with Chi­nese of­fi­cials, Cooper said, the del­e­ga­tion has been “em­pha­siz­ing the facts” that dif­fer­en­ti­ate the cir­cum­stances faced by Meng in Canada and Kovrig and Spa­vor in China.

“The facts are: Ms. Meng was ar­rested pur­suant to Canada’s obli­ga­tions un­der its ex­tra­di­tion treaty with the United States. Ms. Meng’s rights have been pro­tected. She’s been pro­vided bail. She has ac­cess to con­sular ser­vices. She has ac­cess to a lawyer,” said Cooper. “By con­trast, the sit­u­a­tion in­volv­ing Mr. Spa­vor and Mr. Kovrig is ex­actly the op­po­site of that.”

Meng has had a bail hear­ing in open court and has been re­leased on con­di­tions, while nei­ther Kovrig nor Spa­vor has been for­mally charged or had ac­cess to lawyers.

The Chi­nese Em­bassy in Ot­tawa did not re­ply to a re­quest for com­ment, and has re­peat­edly re­fused in­ter­view re­quests from The Cana­dian Press in re­cent weeks. Last month, the Globe and Mail also pub­lished an op-ed from Lu in which he called Meng’s ar­rest in Canada “a mis­car­riage of jus­tice” that has “chilled” the feel­ings of the Chi­nese peo­ple to­wards Canada. Lu wrote that Canada was com­plicit in a U.S. “witch hunt.”

“The am­bas­sador will have been in­structed to re­ply, which is a sign that the crit­i­cism China is re­ceiv­ing is be­gin­ning to strike home,” said David Mul­roney, who was the Cana­dian am­bas­sador to China be­tween 2009 and 2012. “He sort of throws a whole bunch of things at the wall in the hope that some­thing will stick.”

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