Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, seen here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Beijing on Nov. 28, 2019, repeated China’s call for the release of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

The Associated Press

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is “doomed to fail” if he hopes to secure the release of two arrested Canadians before Washington and Beijing complete a trade deal, China has warned.

Linking a deal to ease escalating tariffs between the world’s two largest economies with other issues is “totally in vain,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Friday.

He then employed a Chinese idiom describing an action that is dangerous or perhaps desperate: “Those who pull other people’s chestnuts out of the fire will only end up burning themselves.”

Story continues below advertisement

Canada, he said, must be “too heartbroken for tears” if it is taking such a step.

The use of idioms added new colour to China’s months of hectoring Ottawa but made it difficult to parse Mr. Geng’s message. The “meaning is self-evident,” he said, rejecting suggestions that China was threatening Canada or calling Ottawa desperate – though he seemed to say the latter was obvious for anyone to see.

“Whoever is most desperate will know that best,” he said.

He then repeated China’s call for the release of Meng Wanzhou, the Huawei executive whose arrest in Vancouver last December has created friction between Ottawa and Beijing. That same month, Chinese authorities detained Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in what is widely seen as a retaliatory action.

Critics have accused China of “hostage diplomacy” for arresting the two men, while China has fumed against what it calls the “political” case against Ms. Meng in the United States, where prosecutors have sought her extradition, alleging she committed fraud related to the violation of sanctions against Iran. The allegation, backed by a PowerPoint presentation given by Ms. Meng, has not been proven in court. Huawei has denied any wrongdoing.

In an interview with French-language television network TVA that aired Thursday, Mr. Trudeau called for the situation to be resolved before the completion of any trade deal between China and the U.S.

“We’ve said that the United States should not sign a final and complete agreement with China that does not settle the question of Meng Wanzhou and the two Canadians," he said.

Story continues below advertisement

His comments received the support of some legislators in the U.S., including Richard Neal, the Democratic chairman of the U.S. House committee that oversees trade.

In China, however, the Prime Minister was met with derision.

“Frankly speaking, what Trudeau is saying is nonsense,” said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing, who is also an adviser to the State Council of China, the country’s cabinet.

“Everyone knows that a trade deal will benefit both the U.S. and China,” he said, “and Trump will undoubtedly prioritize benefits for his country.”

Shen Dingli, a Fudan University professor and one of China’s top scholars in international relations, said “Trudeau’s words won’t make any difference.

“What matters most to Trump is winning re-election. How can Trudeau’s request matter to him? Trump must take action, especially on trade matters, before next November. If he wants to make gains with voters, he knows what his priority needs to be.”

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Geng made a similar argument. “The conclusion of the phase one deal is in the interest of both the U.S. and China, as comports with the aspirations of the rest of the world.“

With reporting by Alexandra Li

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies