freeland pompeo huawei
Watching Canada's behaviour towards China over the past several months has been like watching a train-wreck in slow motion, and one could not be blamed for coming to the conclusion that this display of consistent diplomatic incompetence on the part of Canadian policy-makers is intentional.

Believe it or not, efforts were being made by Canada's government to work with China not that long ago. Years of planning had been put into consolidating a Canada-China Free Trade Agreement, and Canada signed up to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in March 2017.

So what went wrong, and how did it happen so quickly?

How We Got Here

In its first two years in power, Canada's Liberal government could not help but speak down to China in an apparent attempt to pressure this developing superpower to 'go more green', reform their governance system and 'behave better' on corruption and human rights. This detached and condescending voice was not only alienating to China, but demonstrated the height of hypocrisy as Canada has never been known to treat its indigenous people justly or be free of corrupt practices at the highest levels (see the SNC Lavalin affair, for example).

The failure of this elitist strategy only dawned on Trudeau and his controllers when the Prime Minister returned red-faced from his Beijing trip in December 2017, having been given the clear message that the Free Trade Deal and dreams of a 'special relationship' were finished.

When it became clear that the 'Sino-Canadian Special Relationship' was not going to happen the way some technocrats managing Canada had previously wished, a new policy of anti-Chinese belligerence became the chosen doctrine. This led to the government's intervention on China's CCCE-attempted purchase of the beleaguered Canadian construction giant AECON Inc. in May 2018, on the pretext that China had suddenly been categorized a 'national security threat'. Matters devolved further until the illegal arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in December last year and the green-lighting of her extradition to face jail-time in the USA in March 2019.

The fact is that Canada's Liberal party, under the control of Chrystia Freeland (let's not kid ourselves), has appeared to make the destruction of Canada's participation in China's Belt and Road Initiative a priority. Rather than move into the new paradigm of 'win-win cooperation' envisioned by China, this northern monarchy has (at least for now) thrown its cards into the bankrupt WTO/NATO/Five Eyes-led system.

On May 22, Freeland was heard speaking through Trudeau's mouth when he attacked China for its detainment of two Canadians accused of espionage, saying, "China is making stronger moves than it has before to try and get its own way on the world stage. Western countries and democracies around the world are pulling together to point out that this is not something we need to continue to allow."

China's Ambassador to Canada Responds

Following Trudeau's remarks China's Ambassador to Canada Lu Shaye said at a May 24 event:
"Current China-Canada relations are facing serious difficulties and are situated at rock-bottom since the two countries have established diplomatic relations. It saddens us that the current China-Canada relations are at a 'freezing point' and face huge difficulties. The knots shall be untied by those who got them tied."
Ambassador Lu had earlier made headlines by pointing out that the attack on Huawei and the arrest of Meng is politically-motivated and reflects a racist, hegemonic agenda run by the Five Eyes deep state surveillance apparatus. In a January 2019 editorial Lu wrote:
"These same people have conveniently ignored the PRISM Program, Equation Group, and Echelon-global spying networks operated by some countries that have been engaging in large-scale and organized cyber stealing, and spying and surveillance activities on foreign governments, enterprises, and individuals. These people also took a laissez-faire attitude toward a country that infringes on its citizens' privacy rights through the Patriot Act. They shouted for a ban by the Five Eyes alliance countries.... on the use of Huawei equipment by these countries' own enterprises."
The One Voice of Reason Snuffed Out

There have been opportunities to turn this policy around, of course. Canada's Ambassador to China John McCallum tried to calm the tempest by making the obvious point to journalists in Toronto that Meng's chances of avoiding extradition were good due to the fact that: 1.) President Trump had gone on record stating he would be willing to intervene in her case if it helped US-China trade, and 2.) Canada never signed onto the Iran sanctions which involve her case.

McCallum was referring to President Trump's earlier remarks saying:
"If I think it's good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made, which is a very important thing - what's good for national security - I would certainly intervene, if I thought it was necessary."
In response to McCallum's efforts, he was promptly fired.

One other positive light calling for an indirect healing of Canada-China relations included a bi-partisan Arctic Policy team which recently called for a new Arctic doctrine more in harmony with the practices of the Russia-China Polar Silk Road. However, beyond this, not much can be heard on the matter from either of Canada's other two parties, with the Conservative Party's Andrew Sheer (the main challenger to Trudeau in the upcoming October elections) taking an even more anti-Chinese line by saying:
"For years Trudeau has ignored the security threat the Chinese government poses to Canada and he's allowed China to push Canada around. It's time for him to show some leadership and finally stand up to China."
Sheer demanded that Canada punish China by "withholding promised funds to the AIIB" and lodge formal complaints to the World Trade Organization (which, ironically, cannot settle any trade disputes due to Trump's blocking of nominations to the WTO Appellate Body.)

The Victims are the Canadian People

The only people suffering from this manufactured conflict are Canadians. Farmers across the prairies who had benefited from the US-China trade war have now watched their revenues collapse due to China's cutting off of its Canadian soybean imports, to the tune of $2.7 billion/year. Canada is the world leader of soybean production and China is one of the leading importers.

Canadian tech companies will be hurt if the threatened ban on Huawei products occurs, as many in the corridors of Ottawa are threatening, and Canadians across both coasts are threatened as long decayed infrastructure continues to rot without any means of financing or construction, which China has proven itself uniquely capable of doing.

China's purchase of Canada's construction giant Aecon Inc. would have not only helped drive a policy of repairs and upgrades to Canada's vital infrastructure but would have brought Canada into active participation on international Belt and Road projects.

To the degree that a technocratic elite is permitted to run roughshod with Canada's foreign policy, those saner voices calling for Canada's participation in the Belt and Road Initiative will continue to be snuffed out.

The simple solution to this debacle was given to Canada on a silver platter by Ambassador Lu in June 2017, when he said:
"Canada could absolutely be an important participant, contributor, and beneficiary of the Belt and Road construction. Canada has joined the AIIB, which makes for good conditions for Canada to participate in the Belt and Road infrastructure construction. It is hoped that Canada could enhance policy coordination with Belt and Road countries, and seek specific areas and projects that it can take part in as soon as possible so as to gain early achievements through early participation.

The government of British Columbia signed the Belt and Road cooperation documents with China's Guangdong provincial government last year. We hope that the two local governments will take quick actions and actively participate in the construction.

China is also willing to cooperate with Canada to jointly explore the third-party markets under the Belt and Road initiative. The initiative responds to the trend of the times, conforms to the law of development, and meets the people's interests. It surely has broad prospects. I hope Canada will not miss any important opportunities for cooperation."
The offer to join the new system is squarely on the table, and if Canada is to shed its delusions in time to take part in these historic changes in the world economic system, then some profound soul-searching needs to occur, post-haste.
About the author

Matthew J.L. Ehret is a journalist, lecturer and founder of the Canadian Patriot Review. He is an author with The Duran, Strategic Culture Foundation, Fort Russ. His works have been published in Zero Hedge, Executive Intelligence Review, Global Times, Asia Times, L.A. Review of Books, and Matthew has also published the book The Time has Come for Canada to Join the New Silk Road and three volumes of the Untold History of Canada (available on He can be reached at