BarrieToday welcomes letters to the editor at email@example.com. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication).
The Canadian government must not accede to bullying from the Chinese regime if it hopes to bring Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig home. The two Canadian men are accused of espionage and slated to be executed by China. Their arrest is retaliation for our arrest and extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, sought by America for her dealings with an Iranian oil firm, in contravention of U.S sanctions.
It is against the national interest to have economic and diplomatic dealings with a nation state whose many crimes include: human rights abuses and brutality against Hong Kong dissidents; the imprisonment, torture, forced sterilization and killing of ethnic Uyghurs and Islamic peoples; the abduction of foreign nationals as tools to coerce foreign powers; using revenue acquired from foreign business ventures inside its borders to build up a powerful, aggressive military that frequently threatens its neighbors like Japan and Taiwan; a military chock-full of hostility us.
As stated by the Pacific Council on International Policy, China seduces weaker countries with lavish infrastructure projects – is doing so to the tune of “$1 trillion US” – so as to project its economic, political, and military influence. China establishes dependent territories – like its naval base and Chinese-operated port in Djibouti – so as to fortify themselves for any conflict with the West. They lined missile batteries inside the South China Sea to both threaten Japan and discourage the Americans from asserting a presence.
On a minor note, they are unreliable trading partners; they allegedly found beetles in Canadian lumber imports, placed heavy restrictions on Canadian canola imports – likely over the two Michaels and reduced barley and beef imports because Australia demanded a coronavirus inquest.
The Trudeau government could shift our trade dealings elsewhere and lessen China's influence over our economic and political activities. We could place sanctions on their officials and close our borders to their products and travellers.