Dec 23, 2018 update: Global TV News, (with video) “Canada’s ambassadors urging allies to push for release of Canadians detained in China: Freeland”
Dec 21, 2018 Global Affairs Canada Official statement: “Canada deeply concerned by arbitrary detention of two Canadians in China”
Dec 21, 2018 update: CBC News, “U.S. , UK, EU] joins Freeland in condemning ‘arbitrary detention’ of Canadians and calls for ‘immediate release’”
UK Gardian, “Canada demands China immediately release citizens detained in ‘retaliation’ arrests – US, UK and EU express support, after two Canadians held in seeming retaliation for arrest of Huawei executive”
I’m sorry to say 2018 #HumanRightsDay (Dec 10th) was a sad day when former Canadian diplomat Micheal Kovrig (update: and Mr. Michael Spavor) were detained in China with no reason given. (China taking Mr. Kovrig as “hostage” over the arrest of Huawei CFO Ms. Meng Wanzhou?!) Where is due process? Where is rule of law? I understand he served as political lead on Prime Minster Trudeau’s visit to Hong Kong in September 2016, so on a personal note, I feel sorry for Consul General Mr. Jeff Nankivell and others in HK that Mr. Kovrig might have worked with in preparation of that 2016 visit.
How “lucky” Canadians must be to be stuck between two superpowers fighting a trade war? One superpower has a president that locks up human rights lawyers (including blind human rights lawyer) and makes dissidents “disappear”. The other superpower has a president who clearly sees himself above the law and has no idea of what “judicial independence” means. Even his former secretary of state recently said in public, “the president would say here’s what I want to do and here’s how I want to do it and I would have to say to him, Mr. President I understand what you want to do but you can’t do it that way. It violates the law.”
If there is #TeachableMoment in all this mess, it is that one must try to respect the rule of law, due process, and judicial independence. Even now it seems we really got used by both sides to fight their beeping trade war!
P.S. Incidentally, Trump/US government has imposed tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum using Section 232 of U.S. trade law claiming our steel and aluminum are “threats to American national security”.
P.P.S. Former Canadian Amb. to China Mr. Guy Saint-Jacques has this to say:
This sentence (from a CBC News report) kinda highlights the difference between Huawei CFO Ms. Meng Wanzhou’s case and the trumped up detention of Mr. Michael Kovrig (currently on an unpaid leave of absence from the Canadian embassy): “China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday denied knowledge of the detention of a former Canadian diplomat, as Chinese citizens rejoiced over a Canadian court’s decision to release a top Huawei Technologies executive on bail.“
We can see that Ms. Meng’s case follows due process and she faced an independent judge who released her on bail in an open court where she was represented by lawyers and the judge gave his clearly laid out reasons for his decisions. Sad days in Canadian Chinese relations.
P.S. I love whoever took time to create and post this sign in English & Simplified Chinese “Independent Justice Please Respect” “我国🇨🇦司法独立敬请尊重” on the courthouse steps yesterday.
P.P.S. And the newspaper commentary by Mr. Lee Yee on the 「司法獨立敬請尊重」 sign.
P3.S. And lets not forget the President who thinks he is above the law. Quoting Michael McFaul, former US ambassador to Russia, “I so hope this is not true. We can’t be arresting people to do trade deals.”
P4.S. And “finally” Ms. Meng Wanzhou is free on bail in Vancouver. (CBC report) The judge ruled against the Canadian Justice department lawyer’s request of not granting bail. Now, think for a moment, when did a Chinese court ever rule against the wishes of any Chinese governments?!! Never is the answer! And Ms. Meng is free with her husband and soon will be with her children, read novels she loves, and even start a Phd program at UBC as she reportedly thinking of doing. All while Mr. Michael Kovrig is detained and China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday denied knowledge of the detention! Some “rule of law”!
P5.S. One last must read piece by Deputy bureau chief @joannachiu Joanna Chiu 趙淇欣 @StarVancouver @TorontoStar //My friend Michael Kovrig was arrested in China. I beg you to pay attention//
As Christmas is coming in less than 2 weeks, lets not forget Mr. Michael Kovrig as he has now reportedly been charged under the nebulous trumped-up charge of “doing activities that harm national security” #涉嫌危害中国国家安全 that has been used to charge human rights lawyers and many others in China!
This is a good read too via The Star Vancouver, “Vancouver judge in Huawei case wouldn’t be swayed by huge international pressure, lawyers say”
2018/Dec/12 3:20pm update:
LIVE video from a few minutes ago. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland addresses the extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. And talk about the Chinese detention of former Canadian diplomat Micheal Kovrig.
Thanks to Minister Chrystia Freeland and the PM for trying to do their best to try to help free Mr. Micheal Kovrig in this cluster beep. And the fact that Mr. Kovrig still does not have consular access is unacceptable and does NOT follow international norm nor the way we have treated Ms. Meng!
2018/Dec/14 2:00pm update:
via CBC Politics Press Conference video //Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan are expected to discuss the two Canadian citizens currently detained in China.//
Good press conference and especially the reporters’ questions part. I’m pleasantly surprised that the SecState on behalf of the US gov still has some backbones left. The 23:36 segment of the video is especially worth watching. US SecState, “The unlawful detention of two Canadian citizens is unacceptable. They ought to be returned. United States stood for that whether they are our citizens or citizens of other countries. We ask all nations of the world to treat other citizens properly. And the detention of these two Canadian citizens in China ought to end.”