Canada FM warns companies against deepening ties with China | business news

TORONTO (AP) – Canada’s foreign minister said Wednesday that China is an increasingly disruptive global power and warned companies against deepening ties amid “geopolitical risks.”

Secretary of State Mélanie Joly made the remarks at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto ahead of her government’s launch of an Indo-Pacific strategy next month.

“The China of 1970 is not the China of today. China is an increasingly disruptive global power,” said Joly. “It seeks to shape the global environment into one for better shaping interests and values ​​that are increasingly distracting from us.”

Joly said Canada has serious concerns that Beijing is undermining global security, trade and peace. These include “credible reports of human rights abuses and crimes against humanity” in the Xinjiang region against the Muslim minority known as the Uyghurs.

“What I want to say to Canadians doing business in and with China is that you need to see things clearly. The decisions you make as an entrepreneur are your own. As Canada’s top diplomat, it’s my job to tell you that doing business with the country comes with geopolitical risks,” Joly said.

Joly said Canada will deepen economic ties with Taiwan and remain committed to freedom of speech and the press in Hong Kong. She said Canada will challenge China when it should and cooperate when necessary.

The comments represent a linchpin for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, who have generally sought to avoid inflammatory tensions with Beijing.

China previously adopted Trudeau in part because of his father, former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, who was one of the first Western leaders to establish diplomatic ties with Communist China in 1970.

China has taken an increasingly tough line on foreign relations, and ties with Canada plummeted after China, the US and Canada completed a high-stakes prisoner swap last year involving a top executive at Chinese tech giant Huawei. who had been accused of fraud by the US

China has detained two Canadians shortly after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer and daughter of the company’s founder, on a US extradition request. They were sent back to Canada in September, the same day Meng returned to China after reaching a settlement with US authorities in her case.

Many countries have labeled China’s actions as “hostage policies,” while China has described the charges against Huawei and Meng as a politically motivated attempt to stall China’s economic and technological development.

Canada has banned wireless carriers from installing Huawei equipment on its high-speed 5G networks and joins allies in shunning the company, which has close ties to the ruling Communist Party and its military wing, the People’s Liberation Army.

Canada has also ordered three Chinese companies to sell lithium mining assets in Canada after imposing restrictions on foreign participation in the supply of “critical minerals” used in batteries and high-tech products.

Former Canadian ambassador to China Guy Saint-Jacques called the new strategy a big change and said Beijing will not be happy about it. He said Washington will be.

“China will say it’s an endorsement that Canada is America’s lapdog, but my response would be that you gave us no choice,” Saint-Jacques said.

Saint-Jacques said it took the Trudeau government a while to see China for what it is now.

“Justin Trudeau lived with his father’s legacy,” he said. “But after establishing diplomatic relations with China, we have invested in the relationship in good faith. We thought that when China opened up, it would open up with freedom of speech and basic human rights, but since Xi Jinping came to power 10 years ago, China has become a very authoritarian regime.”

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