The Chinese Embassy to Canada praised Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil after he met with the Chinese ambassador to Canada to discuss “cooperation with China.”
Premier Stephen McNeil met with China’s Ambassador to China Cong Peiwu on December 9, 2019 and promoted “mutual benefit and win-win results,” according to a news release by the Chinese embassy.
“Ambassador Cong appreciated Governor McNeill’s long-term efforts to promote Nova Scotia’s cooperation with China, introduced China’s policies and measures to further open up to the outside world, and welcomed Nova Scotia to seize China’s development opportunities and deepen its pragmatic approach to China,” wrote the official statement.
As reported by True North, the Chinese Ambassador had a similar discussion with Winnipeg’s Mayor, Brian Bowman.
On December 5, 2019, Bowman posted about how he discussed the “protection and promotion of human rights” with the ambassador.
Canada’s relations with China have become strained since Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested by Canadian authorities over a request for her extradition by the U.S. Meng is currently wanted by the American government for multiple fraud charges and allegedly breaking U.S. sanctions on Iran.
In response to Meng’s arrest, the Chinese government arbitrarily detained two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig. The pair have been in a Chinese prison for over a year now.
Recently, the Chinese embassy released a statement condemning Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne for characterizing their arrests as arbitrary.
“These two Canadians are and will remain our absolute priority. We will continue to work tirelessly to secure their immediate release and to stand up for them as a government and as Canadians,” wrote the statement released by Global Affairs Canada.
In response, the Chinese government called the statement “irresponsible” and insisted that the rights of the two Canadians were being respected despite the arrest.
“The Chinese side expresses its strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition, and has also made solemn representations to the Canadian side,” claimed the embassy.