Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

'White supremacy' a factor in detainees cases, Chinese ambassador charges

'White supremacy' a factor in detainees cases, Chinese ambassador charges

On Wednesday, in a published op-ed, China's ambassador to Ottawa wrote that Canada and its Western allies' calls for the release of Spavor and Kovrig are rooted in "white supremacy".

The envoy said Canada is employing a double standard in demanding the release of two men who were detained in China nine days after the arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou - also known as Cathy Meng and Sabrina Meng - at the request of USA authorities.

"The reason why some people are used to arrogantly adopting double standards is due to Western egotism and white supremacy. What they have been doing is not showing respect for the rule of law, but mocking and trampling the rule of law", Lu added.

Last week, China's chief prosecutor said there was "no doubt" that two detained Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, had broken the law and were being investigated on suspicion of "activities that endangered China's national security".

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has said Canada has followed the rule of law in arresting Meng because of its extradition law with the U.S. She and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have stressed that the arrest of Meng was a legal matter that was divorced from politics. She was granted bail, but now faces extradition to the USA on fraud-related allegations.

Writing in Canada's The Hill Times on Wednesday, Lu also appeared to confirm that China is detaining the two Canadians because of Meng's detention, referring to it as "self-defense".

"I don't know what the ambassador was trying to accomplish but his article won't help China's cause". Furthermore, the Chinese envoy took exception to "elites" and "some in the Canadian news media" for having claimed that the judicial system in China is less independent than that of Canada.

Meanwhile, a group of Canadian parliamentarians visiting China this week complained to officials that Kovrig and Spavor have been granted few consular visits, denied access to lawyers, and remain in "completely unacceptable" detention conditions. "He says "You are being racist by not respecting our law.' That's an easy card to play".

Lu also seemed to admit detaining the Canadians was in retaliation for the Meng arrest.

"I have recently heard a word repeatedly pronounced by some Canadians: bullying", Lu said in his op-ed.

"It seems that, to those people, the laws of Canada or other Western countries are laws and must be observed, while China's laws are not and shouldn't be respected", Lu writes.

Freeland's spokesman Alex Lawrence reiterated Canada's call for the two men to be released immediately and reaffirmed the worldwide support Canada is receiving.

Huawei, whose billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei has long had ties with both the People's Liberation Army and the Communist party, has faced national security concerns in multiple countries.

Meng Wanzhou, executive board director of Huawei, attends a session of the VTB Capital Investment Forum "Russia Calling!" in Moscow, Oct. 2, 2014.

Since at least 2016, the United States has been looking into whether Huawei shipped US-origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of U.S. export and sanctions laws, Reuters reported in April.

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