As Meng’s Case Reaches Final Stage, Beijing’s Warning Shots Are Loud and Clear

The retaliation over Meng’s arrest and the jailing of the two Michaels should wake up anyone still holding notions of a peaceful China
August 10, 2021 Updated: August 11, 2021

Commentary

The Chinese Communist Party has demonstrated beyond doubt how ruthless it truly is and the lengths it is willing to go to in order to bend countries like Canada to its will.

On Aug. 10, a court in Liaoning Province rejected the appeal of a death sentence for Robert Schellenberg, a Canadian citizen who has been held in China on drug charges since November 2014. Clearly, Schellenberg was never going to get a fair trial and was always going to be used by the CCP as leverage over Ottawa in a political dispute, as has been the case with Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.

A day after Schellenberg’s death sentence, Spavor was slapped with 11 years in prison on trumped-charges of espionage, yet more evidence of the regime’s ruthlessness. Spavor is left with an appeal option—and we can be sure that Beijing is using that, along with the prospect of a similar or worse sentence for Kovrig—to maximum effect in its hostage diplomacy as Meng’s legal proceedings continue.

After a year and a half of getting a taste of what the regime is truly capable of, with its brazen lying and malicious coverup that led to a global pandemic, such actions should confirm to Canadians that this type of hostility is not just an aberration.

These are warning shots from Beijing over Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case, and anyone still holding out hope that the CCP will change its ways and play nice should wake up and realize that this is the regime’s true face.

Beijing is upping the ante after continually failing to compel Ottawa to release Meng, whose extradition hearing is set to begin in the B.C. Supreme Court later the same week after arguments in the case ended on Aug. 10. The hearing is expected to wrap up by Aug. 20.

Consecutive public opinion polls have demonstrated that skepticism among Canadians about the country’s relationship with the Chinese regime has been consistently increasing.

A poll published in March, before the show trials of Kovrig and Spavor, found that 77 percent of Canadians believe that any improvement in relations between Beijing and Ottawa should be dependent on the release of the two men. Any enthusiasm for continued economic co-operation with Beijing has also dimmed, as more Canadians would now prefer closer economic relationships with our partners in the United States and Europe than with communist China.

This is encouraging, as it shows regular Canadians continue to display more wisdom than many of our elites when it comes to what the CCP is about and how we should approach it.

However, the true nature of the CCP should also be kept in mind by world leaders, as the regime plans to launch a “goodwill” propaganda campaign within the next year to improve international perception of China. According to state media outlet Xinhua, Xi Jinping told senior Party officials to focus on promoting a “credible, loveable, and respectable China” in order to “constantly expand the circle of friends [when it comes to] international public opinion.”

Within that timeframe falls the Beijing Winter Olympics in February 2022, and something Canada should urgently consider doing in the coming months is assume a key role in promoting an international boycott of the Games.

Under no circumstances should we now reward the regime with the propaganda opportunity and prestige that such an event will bestow upon it. Any argument from members of Olympic committees or other such entities to the effect that politics should be left out of the Olympics tends to forget that the ideology of the regime hosting the event prevents it from making politics separate from anything.

A boycott is also something the majority of Canadians support. According to a survey released this week, more than half of Canadians are in favour of boycotting the Games. A poll in April had a similar finding.

Now is also the time to take the idea of decoupling more seriously. One detail we should pay attention to in this regard is that there are provinces, such as British Columbia and Nova Scotia for example, that have signed MOUs and maintain trade offices in China. These should be discontinued, and closer economic relationships should be encouraged and pursued with like-minded countries such as India, Taiwan, Japan, and Singapore.

The tide has been rapidly shifting regarding Canadian perception of China, but recent events should now solidify in everyone’s mind that communist China is not a country with which we can do business. Policy urgently needs to reflect this.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Shane Miller
Shane Miller
Shane Miller is a political writer based in London, Ontario.