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Canada's ambassador to China, John McCallum, waits to brief members of the Foreign Affairs committee regarding China in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: letters@globeandmail.com

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Re Meng Has Strong Case Against Extradition, McCallum Says (Jan. 24): After all the threats made toward our country by China’s ambassador to Canada, and dark warnings of retaliation if our leaders fail to make “the wise decision,” that is, “do as we tell you,” our ambassador to China has the temerity to signal that maybe Canada made a mistake in carrying out its legal obligations to arrest Meng Wanzhou.

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Instead of standing firm and resolute for Canadian values, John McCallum sounds almost apologetic for Canada’s daring to apply the rule of law to a powerful Chinese company and its chief financial officer.

After the way Canadians have been treated in China following Ms. Meng’s arrest, you would expect our ambassador to have a backbone and tell Chinese officials, and especially their ambassador, how little his threats mean to us.

I expect Mr. McCallum to show some dignity and pride as the person who represents us to China’s government, and not behave as a man seemingly cowed, trying to ingratiate us to ward off China’s rebukes. He should be relieved of his duties immediately.

Howard Schneider, Toronto

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The comments of John McCallum, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s response, as well as other interviews conducted by the media, suggest to me that the federal government is preparing the public for the release of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in return for the release of the two Canadians held by China.

It is useless for the government to speculate, either directly or through the media, on the outcome of the extradition process … unless public opinion is the target.

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Charles Hooker, East Garafraxa, Ont.

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As an ambassador, John McCallum makes a good bank economist. It is time for him to return to the private sector. Today.

Michael Royce, Toronto

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China applies the same laws in the same way to violators, irrespective of nationality, ethnicity or the corporations they represent. Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s case shows Canada operates its laws in one way for some, and in another for those targeted by the United States.

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Otherwise, it is quite beyond comprehension that before moving to detain Ms. Meng, Canada does not seem to have bothered to ask, “Why single out Ms. Meng, when the U.S. has let go so many others from non-Chinese companies, and why at a time when the U.S.-China trade war is at its height?”

Fortunately, there are still brave and just Canadians like ambassador John McCallum who dare speak truth to power to make Canada a nation of law again.

Wen Lam Chang, Hong Kong

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Unless John McCallum was authorized by the Prime Minister to make his comments at Tuesday’s news conference, he should be fired immediately.

Andy Buchan, Burnaby, B.C.

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John McCallum committed the cardinal sin of diplomacy: He went off script. Candour is not in the job description for an ambassador, even if he is stating the obvious. It may well end his career, but he has my respect. It’s high time someone interjected some common sense into this mess.

Sarah Nguyen, Vancouver

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John McCallum’s public statements about Meng Wanzhou and her detention in Canada have interfered with the judicial process. He should have kept his mouth shut. He must be fired.

But did someone tell him to say that? Is the government quietly interfering, using him as its mouthpiece? Either way, it is wrong, and he must be replaced as ambassador to China.

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Roger Emsley, Delta, B.C.

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Canada’s ambassador to China, John McCallum, says Meng Wanzhou has a strong case against extradition. So did Hassan Diab, who was extradited to France, accused of being involved in a terrorist act committed in Paris while he was in Lebanon.

Mr. Diab is back home in Canada now, but not before spending several years in pretrial detention in France, mostly in solitary confinement. He has experienced severe financial and professional consequences, and French prosecutors still have not given up, even though a French court dismissed the terrorism charges against him.

Anyone who thinks our extradition treaties are fair should think again.

Michael Wilkshire, St. John’s

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The outpouring of criticism of John McCallum is unjust.

He did not say anything many of us have not been thinking since Donald Trump made it clear he was prepared to use Meng Wanzhou as a bargaining chip in his trade dispute with China. Mr. McCallum – and I am not convinced he wasn’t floating a trial balloon for the federal government – sounded a clear warning to the Trump administration, which has treated Canada so shabbily in this entire affair.

I applaud Mr. McCallum’s courage and insight.

Darlene Simpson, Calgary

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John McCallum should have just kept quiet. He made it look like Meng Wanzhou’s arrest was political, and he made Canada look weak – not a position you want to be in with China.

That is the problem with appointing a politician – even a widely respected one – with no diplomatic experience as ambassador to China: Things can get out of hand very quickly with the wrong words.

As strong as China wants to appear, it is actually very sensitive. Perceived slights are not tolerated; Chinese leaders try to compensate by bullying – for example, the outrageous statements by Lu Shaye, China’s ambassador to Canada. The problem today is that China has the military to back its bullying.

David Bell, Toronto

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It is embarrassing to witness John McCallum pandering to the Chinese-language media with his comments on the Meng extradition case. As Canada’s ambassador to China, he, of all people, should be extremely circumspect in his comments in the present circumstances.

The intrusion of President Donald Trump’s uncalled-for comments in the Meng affair was roundly and properly condemned. Now, we have Mr. McCallum stooping to the same lower level and acting like a government backbencher gone rogue.

The Prime Minister’s restating that Canada will “respect the rule of law” rings hollow when Canada’s ambassador goes so far off message. Mr. McCallum’s comments have now tainted whatever judicial decision is rendered, and made life extremely difficult for the newly minted Justice Minister, David Lametti, who will sit in final judgment if the court decides that Ms. Meng can be extradited.

American voters are deeply concerned about Russia’s influence on their President. Do Canadians now have to ponder China’s influence on our Prime Minister?

Gary Pryce, Winnipeg

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