Xi spat at Trudeau, describing China’s broken relationship with Canada

Chinese President Xi Jinping shamed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when he dressed on camera at the G20 summit, an unusual public outburst that could further complicate strained relations between the two countries.

Video taken by journalists at the Bali summit for world leaders on Wednesday showed Xi reprimanding Trudeau after details of discussions between the two leaders were leaked to the media.

Trudeau had spoken to Xi on Tuesday about what he called Chinese “interference” with Canadian citizens after Ottawa in recent weeks accused Beijing of interfering with its democratic and legal system.

In the one-minute video recorded on the sidelines of the summit in Indonesia, Xi tells Trudeau through an interpreter: “Everything we discussed has been leaked to the press. It’s not appropriate.”

Xi speaks evenly and with a smile: “And that’s not how (our discussion) went, was it?”

“If there is sincerity, we can have conversations based on an attitude of mutual respect. Otherwise, the results will be unpredictable,” he adds, looking directly at Trudeau.

Xi then appears to try to walk past Trudeau, but the Canadian leader responds: “In Canada, we believe in free, open and honest discussion, and that’s what we will continue to have.”

“We will continue to seek to work constructively together, but there will be things on which we disagree,” he tells Xi.

Xi raises his hands, cuts him off and says bluntly: “Create the conditions. Create the conditions.”

He then widens his smile and barely glances at Trudeau as he shakes his hand and leaves his counterpart to exit the room.

It is not clear when, if ever, Xi will become aware that the conversation is being recorded.

The tone was akin to “a great power talking to a lesser power,” said Van Jackson, an associate professor of international relations at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand.

“Xi’s language and posture was not at all unusual for officials who are on less than friendly terms – in private,” Jackson told AFP.

Tensions between China and the United States put Canada in a “particularly uncomfortable position,” he said, adding that “Ottawa’s intervention in the intelligence-sharing network of Anglo-Saxon democracies all but guarantees that it will infuriate China more and more over time.” pass”.

Xi’s Tuesday meeting with Trudeau was the first face-to-face talks between the two leaders since 2019.

Canada’s federal police said last week it was investigating so-called police stations illegally set up by Beijing in North America.

Trudeau also said last week that China was playing “aggressive games” after Canadian broadcaster Global News reported on a “secret network” of federal election candidates funded by Beijing.

Relations between the two countries were frozen when Canadian authorities arrested Meng Wanzhou, the chief executive of Huawei, in 2018 for allegedly ignoring US sanctions against Iran.

Beijing later arrested two Canadian citizens in China, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, in what critics called a tit-for-tat response.

Meng and the two Canadians were released last year after lengthy negotiations.

© 2022 AFP

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