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Canada's Trudeau calls for Western unity against China

Prime Minister says China must not be allowed to divide Western allies

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in an interview on Saturday (Dec. 25) that Western countries must form a united front to counter Beijing’s economic statecraft.

"We've been competing and China has been, from time to time, very cleverly playing us off each other in an open market, competitive way," Trudeau said, according to Reuters.

"We need to do a better job of working together and standing strong so China can't play the angles and divide us one against the other,“ he went on.

Cool relations between Ottawa and Beijing have yet to thaw since the Canadian government detained Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou (孟晚舟) due to a U.S. extradition warrant in 2018. China’s ruling Chinese Communist Party detained two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, shortly afterward and denied it had anything to do with the Meng case.

Meng was sent back to China in September after the extradition case came to an end. Despite the fact the “two Michaels,” as they had come to be known, were released within hours of the settlement, Beijing still denied it had engaged in hostage diplomacy.

Ottawa’s repeated rhetoric concerning human rights has irritated Beijing too. To further emphasize its opposition to human rights abuses in China, this month Canada decided to join the diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics due to take place in Beijing in February.