Ex­perts: No fear of re­tal­i­a­tion — for now

Winnipeg Sun - - NEWS - ALEK­SAN­DRA SA­GAN

VAN­COU­VER — Fears of re­tal­i­a­tion against Chin­abased staff of Cana­dian com­pa­nies af­ter a Chi­nese tech exec’s ar­rest in Canada are overblown at the mo­ment, but ex­perts say that could change if the sit­u­a­tion es­ca­lates.

Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Chi­nese tele­com gi­ant Huawei Tech­nolo­gies, was ar­rested at Van­cou­ver’s air­port while in tran­sit on Dec. 1. and faces ex­tra­di­tion to the United States on un­spec­i­fied charges.

Chi­nese of­fi­cials have de­manded her re­lease, and the in­ci­dent has sparked spec­u­la­tion that China could re­tal­i­ate by ar­rest­ing Cana­di­ans work­ing abroad in the coun­try, as many large Cana­dian cor­po­ra­tions have of­fices or re­tail out­lets there.

How­ever, it’s too soon to think about pos­si­ble re­tal­ia­tory mea­sures, ex­perts say.

“I think at this stage, there is no im­pli­ca­tion yet,” said Lynette Ong, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor with the Munk School. “But I think if this event were to es­ca­late, it might have im­pli­ca­tions for se­cu­rity of Cana­dian busi­nesses and Cana­dian busi­ness peo­ple op­er­at­ing in China.”

As of 2015, Cana­dian busi­nesses had 531 lo­ca­tions across China span­ning sev­eral sec­tors, in­clud­ing en­ergy, ed­u­ca­tion and agri­cul­ture, ac­cord­ing to data com­piled by re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Af­fairs and Pub­lic Pol­icy.

Com­pa­nies with large foot­prints in China in­clude Man­ulife Fi­nan­cial Corp., Thomson Reuters and Restau­rant Brands In­ter­na­tional, which has sev­eral Burger King lo­ca­tions there and aims to bring about 1,500 Tim Hor­tons shops to the coun­try in the next decade.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.