Canada needs ‘reset’ on China, Scheer says


Steve Scherer, Reuters

via GFM Network News/Glacier FarmMedia Feed/Canadian Cattlemen - May 7, 2019


Ottawa | Reuters — Canada’s opposition leader on Tuesday attacked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for being too soft on China and said there needs to be a “total reset” on relations with the Asian powerhouse.


Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer spoke amid an escalating diplomatic dispute that has followed Canada’s arrest of Huawei Technologies chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou on behalf of the United States in December.


After Meng’s arrest, China demanded her release and Chinese police later detained two Canadian citizens. Now the country has started to block some imports of Canadian canola and pork.


Scheer said he would file a formal complaint against China at the World Trade Organization and end a $250 million investment in the Chinese-owned Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank “if their trade blockades persist.”


“If this government isn’t willing to stand up to China when two Canadians are unlawfully imprisoned and billions of dollars in trade is under attack, it never will,” Scheer told supporters in Montreal.


“I will not allow Chinese state-owned enterprises, solely focused on the political interests of Beijing, unfettered access to the Canadian market,” he added. “Canada’s relationship with China needs a total reset. Nothing can happen until such time.”


Scheer spoke just five months ahead of what is shaping up to be a tight election race against his rival, Liberal Prime Minister Trudeau.


Trudeau has not filed a WTO complaint or said whether or not Huawei technology can be used for construction of an ultra-fast 5G wireless network. Recently, Canada has been leaning on the United States to do more to help settle the dispute...