Source: BNN Bloomberg Published: 2019-3-28
China is ramping up pressure on Justin Trudeau in a feud that already had the Canadian prime minister facing few good options. The Asian nation halted certain canola shipments from Canada this month in the aftermath of last year’s arrest of a top Huawei Technologies Co. executive in Vancouver on an American extradition request. Trudeau doesn’t have a clear solution.
Billions in Trade
The northern nation shipped $4.4 billion of the crop to China last year, according to the Canola Council of Canada. Beijing has confirmed the suspension of exports from Glencore Plc-owned Viterra Inc. and Winnipeg-based Richardson International Ltd. Trudeau is considering sending a Canadian delegation for talks on the rejected orders.
China says the move is due to quarantine rules but hasn’t yet offered evidence. China says it found pests in shipments that had already been cleared by Canadian inspections.
“The Chinese side has taken these precautionary quarantine measures to ensure safety,” China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said Wednesday. “As for China-Canada relations, we hope that the Canadian side could work with us to promote the sound and steady development of bilateral relations. The Canadian side should take some concrete measures to correct its previous mistakes.”
Jim Everson, president of Canada’s canola council, supports the idea of sending a delegation.
Wang Peng, an associate research fellow of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at the Renmin University of China, said in spite of the canola pressure, China is backing away from its adversarial stance. “The tough strategy has not worked so well. China has realized that Canada is much more reliant on America than China,” he said. “Therefore China’s strategy has become more rational, effective and realistic.”
China shouldn’t expect to be able to use pressure to stop legal cooperation between the U.S. and Canada, since the countries share an extradition treaty, he said. Instead, China should focus on its legal fight to free Meng.
“Legal methods have become the mainstream approach,” Wang said. “It is unwise for China to solve this problem through a primarily political approach.”
This is an excerpt from the article published at BNN Bloomberg.Wang Peng is an associate research fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.