Xi Scolds Trudeau Over Private Conversation Gone Public

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“Unfortunately we’re seeing that countries, state actors from around the world, whether it’s China or others, are continuing to play aggressive games with our institutions, with our democracies,” Mr. Trudeau said, after news reports that Chinese authorities had meddled in Canadian elections by secretly funding 11 candidates in the 2019 federal election.

In the absence of a formal meeting with Mr. Xi, Mr. Trudeau engaged him in a brief, unscheduled conversation at a reception on Tuesday. Canadian media later reported, citing the Canadian prime minister’s office, that Mr. Trudeau had discussed the war in Ukraine, other international issues, and reports about China’s election interference.

Mr. Xi’s accusation of a leak seemed to be about Canada disclosing details of that unplanned meeting, given that the Chinese government apparently had not prepared its own account.

At a news conference in Bali after the video began to circulate, Mr. Trudeau defended his approach to China.

“Canada needs to be able to engage constructively and directly while at the same time be there to challenge on human rights and values that matter to Canadians,” he said, according to The Globe and Mail.

Mr. Trudeau’s relationship with Mr. Xi has deteriorated significantly since 2015, when Mr. Trudeau first took office vowing to improve Canada’s relationship with China. The prime minister’s trip to Turkey for the Group of 20 leaders’ summit that year was notable for the admiration he and Mr. Xi expressed for each other.

But Canada’s relationship with China fell apart in December 2018, when the Chinese government jailed Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, two Canadians in China, shortly after Canada had arrested Meng Wanzhou, a Chinese telecommunications executive, in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the request of the United States government.

Sumber: www.nytimes.com

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