Canada: Beijing snubbed Trudeau's request to talk with Chinese premier about detainees - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaBeijing snubbed Trudeau's request to talk with Chinese premier about detainees

00:55  13 june  2019
00:55  13 june  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

Mulroney urges government to send Chretien to China to win release of detainees

Mulroney urges government to send Chretien to China to win release of detainees OTTAWA — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney says the government should enlist a former prime minister to lead a high-powered delegation to China to win the release of two imprisoned Canadians — but not him. 

The news came as Trudeau prepared to meet President Xi Jinping for a private dinner in the BEIJING —Expectations that Canada was primed to launch formal free trade talks with China Trudeau is scheduled to have dinner with Xi at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing for his

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the margins of the ASEAN summit in Singapore on Wednesday. Last weekend, two of Trudeau ' s ministers — Finance Minister Bill Morneau, and International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr — were in Beijing for talks that

Beijing snubbed Trudeau's request to talk with Chinese premier about detainees© Fred Dufour/Reuters Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang reach out to shake hands during a news conference meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China December 4, 2017.

Beijing ignored a personal attempt by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier this year to arrange a conversation with China's premier in order to intervene on behalf of Canadians detained in China, CBC News has learned.

Beijing snubbed Trudeau's request to talk with Chinese premier about detainees© Associated Press/International Crisis Group/Canadian Press Michael Spavor, left, and former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig, right, are being held by Chinese authorities.

"You are reaching out to Prime Minister Li Keqiang," begins a Jan. 11 briefing note to Trudeau, drafted in preparation for that phone call.

Chrétien willing to visit China to talk trade and negotiate for the release of detainees - spokesman

Chrétien willing to visit China to talk trade and negotiate for the release of detainees - spokesman Jean Chrétien is willing to go to China to negotiate an end to Canada's diplomatic impasse with Beijing if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asks him, according to the former prime minister's spokesman. "If the Prime Minister asks Mr. Chrétien, he would be prepared to go to China to serve Canada at this difficult time to help our farmers and bring our two Canadians home," Bruce Hartley tells CBC News. Canada has been without an ambassador in China since John McCallum was fired in January after he made public comments concerning the ongoing court case against Huawei CEO Meng Wanzhou.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau concluded talks with the Chinese premier in Beijing today but they were not able to announce the start of formal free trade talks , but would continue exploratory talks . David Akin reports.

BEIJING —Canada’ s push to launch formal trade talks with China did not stop Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from raising a host of human rights concerns with the country’ s No. 2 leader, something he said he would do again when he met with the regime’ s President Xi Jinping Tuesday night.

Li is China's head of government and its chief administrator, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the nation. (China's premier is also referred to as 'prime minister'.)

Trudeau's office confirms that the prime minister requested the meeting, but China ignored and ultimately rejected his request.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister's Office said Trudeau requested the call prior to a sentencing hearing for Robert Schellenberg, a Canadian man accused of drug smuggling in China.

"In advance of the January 14 sentencing hearing for Robert Schellenberg, the Prime Minister requested a call with Premier Li Keqiang, so that he could personally advocate for clemency in this case as well as reinforce our repeated call for the immediate release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor," said PMO spokesperson Chantal Gagnon in a statement.

Trudeau asked to speak directly to China’s premier about detained Canadians: PMO

Trudeau asked to speak directly to China’s premier about detained Canadians: PMO A spokesperson for the Prime Minister's Office confirmed that Trudeau requested a phone call with Premier Li Keqiang ahead of the Jan. 14 sentencing hearing for Robert Schellenberg. Gagnon said the move was in accordance with a government policy to advocate for Canadians that might face the death penalty. Schellenberg is currently appealing a death sentence for allegedly smuggling drugs in China.

WASHINGTON — President Trump delayed his own deadline to increase tariffs on Chinese goods on Sunday as his administration continues a monthslong effort to persuade Beijing to make significant structural changes to its economy that have so far proved elusive.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attend a welcoming ceremony at the Great Trudeau might have been thinking about Australia's experience. Even as that country was After a high level meeting in Beijing last week between Trudeau ' s National Secuity Advisor, Daniel

Beijing snubbed Trudeau's request to talk with Chinese premier about detainees© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Businessman Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig were detained separately in December, shortly after Canada arrested Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on a U.S. extradition warrant.

Trudeau has condemned the detention of the Canadians as "arbitrary."

Following the rejection of Trudeau's request for phone conversation with Li, a Chinese court sentenced Schellenberg to death in a sudden retrial, escalating an already tense situation.

Secret diplomacy

The heavily redacted 10-page briefing note prepared in advance of the call — dubbed "Outreach to Prime Minister Li Keqiang of China" — provides the first public glimpse into Trudeau's behind-the-scenes efforts to engage the Chinese government directly. It involved the highest level of Canada's bureaucracy and was led by Greta Bossenmaier, Trudeau's national security and intelligence adviser.

China issues warning after Canada raises concerns over planned extradition law

China issues warning after Canada raises concerns over planned extradition law China's envoy is once again telling Canada to mind its own business after Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland put out a statement responding to Beijing's proposed extradition bill.

Chinese premier coming to Canada for talks with Trudeau . Prime Minister Justin Trudeau , left, speaks during a joint press conference with After Trudeau ' s August meeting with Li in Beijing , the Chinese premier said the two countries would launch a feasibility study on an eventual free-trade deal.

BEIJING —Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has brought Canada closer to China after agreeing with the Chinese premier to deepen the countries’ relationships — and explore a possible free trade deal. After meeting with Trudeau , Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told reporters through a translator that Canada

The note, marked "secret", was obtained by CBC News under the federal Access to Information Act.

It outlines preparations that took place as the diplomatic rift between the two countries deepened.

Trudeau and Li last met in late 2018 at the ASEAN summit in Singapore, something the prime minister's advisers saw as an opening for discussion.

"It was a pleasure to see you in Singapore in November. It was a good opportunity to review the many important mutually beneficial areas of cooperation," say the suggested introductory talking points prepared for Trudeau and listed in the briefing note.

The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa and the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing did not immediately respond to CBC News' request for comment about Trudeau's request.

Cold shoulder

Roland Paris, a former foreign policy adviser to the prime minister, said the documents suggest the rejection is all part of China's strategy.

"If indeed China refused to arrange this call, then it would be consistent with China having frozen communications between our two countries, including at very high levels," said Paris, now an associate professor of public and international affairs at the University of Ottawa.

Beijing suggests its snub of Canada will continue until Meng Wanzhou is released

Beijing suggests its snub of Canada will continue until Meng Wanzhou is released The spiraling diplomatic row between Ottawa and Beijing "lies entirely with Canada," the Chinese foreign ministry said Thursday, suggesting for the first time that its leadership won't speak with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau until Canada drops extradition proceedings against a Chinese telecom executive. CBC News reported Wednesday that Beijing ignored a personal attempt by Trudeau earlier this year to arrange a conversation with China's premier in order to intervene on behalf of Canadians detained in China. Trudeau's office confirms that the prime minister requested the meeting, but China ignored and ultimately rejected his request.

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BEIJING — Justin Trudeau left China ’ s capital without a deal to launch free trade negotiations with Trudeau arrived in Beijing thinking the Chinese had agreed to his “progressive trade agenda.” It was only when he sat down with Li that it became apparent the Premier was not ready to commit his

"Canada is stuck in an extremely difficult situation with very little leverage, and our relations with China will probably remain frozen, at least until Ms. Meng's extradition hearing is resolved."

In the weeks following the rebuffed call, Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland held dozens of high-level discussions with foreign heads of government, ministers and diplomats in an effort to rally an international coalition of countries to publicly speak out in support of the detained Canadians.

At home, Trudeau has been under increasing pressure, particularly from Conservatives, to reach out to the Chinese leadership.

"I actually think that by picking up the phone and having that kind of conversation, we might be able to defuse the situation," Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said.

Trudeau 'isn't taken seriously' - Raitt

Today, Conservative deputy leader Lisa Raitt said the snub by Beijing only proves that Trudeau isn't "taken seriously on the world stage."

"It's pretty serious when your prime minister can't get a phone call with another world leader," she said. "If he can't get a phone call with the premier of China, that's just going to show them how ineffectual he is."

Last week, the prime minister said he was considering "engaging directly" with Chinese President Xi Jinping as tensions between Canada and China continue to smoulder.

"I look forward to being at the G20 in a few weeks as an opportunity to engage with a number of world leaders with whom we have either good working relationships or challenges," Trudeau said June 6, speaking about the upcoming gathering in Japan. "The opportunity to engage with the Chinese president directly is certainly something that we are looking at."

The G20 will meet in Osaka at the end of the month.

Freeland said she repeatedly tried and failed to get a meeting with her counterpart, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

"It's very clear that this is a very difficult moment in the relationship between Canada and China," she told CBC Radio last month.

"I have sought repeatedly a meeting with Wang Yi, the foreign minister, my counterpart. Thus far that meeting hasn't happened. But if Chinese officials are listening to us today, let me repeat that I would be very, very keen to meet with Minister Wang Yi or to speak with him over the phone at the earliest opportunity."

China blames Canada for rocky relations as Trump looks to intervene.
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