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Is Canada acting in a duplicitous manner in launching its’ Declaration against Arbitrary Detention?

Printable version / Version imprimable

By Gilles Gervais

On February 16, 2021 a spokesperson from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Canada made the following remarks [1] which were posted on the Embassy website regarding the Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations [2] initiated by Canada, which has garnered (as of February 15, 2021) the endorsement of 58 countries.

In the opening paragraph, the Chinese spokesperson said, as transcribed:

On February 15, the Canadian side issued the so-called Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention with some other countries, and deliberately arranged someone from the Human Rights Watch to accuse China of “arbitrary detention” of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor at the launch of the Declaration, which is totally fact-distorting and ill-intentioned. The Chinese side expresses its strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition over this, and has lodged stern representations with the Canadian side.

As The National Post reported on February 15 in a column by John Ivison [3] written before the videoconference with representatives of ‘founding endorsers’ took place “The agreement is officially agnostic when it comes to target states. But it emerged from the travels of Garneau’s [Canada’s new Foreign Affairs Minister-CRC editor] predecessor, François-Philippe Champagne, as he tried to secure support from like-minded countries in the cases of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, Canadian citizens who have been held in detention for more than two years in China.

Journalist Ivison also identified the ‘someone from the Human Rights Watch’ as Executive Director Kenneth Roth who made the statement mentioning Kovrig and Spavor. British human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and U.S. Secretary of state Anthony Blinken also spoke during the videoconference organized by Canada.

On February 17, 2021, Global Times wrote an op-ed on the Canadian Declaration entitled: “West should look in the mirror over accusations of arbitrary detentions [4]

The author Mu Lu reports that:

When Lu Kang, director-general of the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs of Chinese Foreign Ministry, gave an exclusive interview on September 3, 2020 to Canada’s The Globe and Mail, he said that "the US… did make the request to dozens of other governments to detain Meng Wanzhou, but none of them followed this ridiculous idea, until Madame Meng entered Canada."

"Why [did] the Canadian government became the only one?" Lu asked. 

It is obvious that other countries clearly perceived how nonsensical and dangerous the US’ request was. However, Ottawa, by blindly following Washington’s anti-China campaign, set a new path of geopolitical competition between major powers. The Canadian government has indeed put businesspeople all around the world under the risk of geopolitical games

Pandora’s box has thus been opened. But Ottawa has never introspected one bit about its wrongful doings. Instead, it has gone further in the wrong direction regarding the Meng case. Now, even more hypocritical, Ottawa has put forward an initiative that seems to seek justice but is actually another clumsy trick to provoke China.” 

The good judicial advice provided to Prime Minister Trudeau by former Supreme Court Judge Louise Arbour and other prominent jurists and ambassadors in a Letter to the Prime Minister of Canada, [5] dated June 23, 2020, could still, at this late date, be adopted.

That Letter argues, in part, that:

There is no question that the US extradition request has put Canada in a difficult position. As Prime Minister, you face a difficult decision. Complying with the US request has greatly antagonized China. Putting an end to the extradition proceeding may irritate the US. In normal circumstances, the safer choice would be to stay close to our ally, our friend, and our principal trading partner. But these are not normal times, and this is not a normal case. Although the U.S. government may voice its strong objections to the Minister’s decision to end the extradition, it would not be the first time that Canada has parted ways with the US, including on much more momentous issues, such as refusing to join in their invasion of Iraq. Our strong bilateral relationship survived all of those controversies, each of them expressions by Canada of its sovereignty and national interest.”

And ends with the following recommendation:

…The Minister of Justice, acting in that capacity, should immediately accept his responsibility under the Extradition Act and exercise the authority he has under that statute to end the Meng extradition proceeding.”

The present British-American war drive against China and Russia

When one looks at the bigger picture, beyond the Meng Wanzhou-Huawei 5G versus the two Michaels controversy, it is clear that the recent rapidly escalating media frenzy and Western governments attacks on China will soon attain the level of intensity that we have witnessed over the last few years of “ It’s Russia, Russia, Russia !”.

Beyond the endless lies being retailed on China and the Uyghurs, China and Hong Kong, China and the debt trap, we now have an open call for the overthrow of President Xi Jinping recently published by the Atlantic Council [6]. This new folly can only lead to the reinforcement of an artificial enemy image in preparation to launch a global military showdown against China and Russia, which could rapidly escalate to a nuclear World War III.

Canadians, and citizens of Western countries in general, must reject such confrontational policies and accept President Xi Jinping olive-branch offer of cooperation, win-win policies, in a genuine dialogue of civilizations along the Belt and Road Initiative. [7]

The Schiller Institute will feature an important international round-table on this subject on Saturday the 27th. of February, 2021 at 2 PM  [8]

[1Chinese Embassy Spokesperson’s Remarks (

[4West should look in the mirror over accusations of arbitrary detentions - Global Times

[6The Longer Telegram: Toward a new American China strategy - Atlantic Council

[7CRC - The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge: A Shared Future for Humanity, Vol. II (