Skip links

Canada will pay a price no matter what for its part in the worsening U.S.-China conflict

Canada may have had little choice but to arrest Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou as she was transferring from one flight to another at the Vancouver airport, this past Saturday. This country has an extradition treaty with the United States, and the U.S. had asked Canada to make the arrest, so that was that.


The Chinese government is demanding that Ms. Meng be immediately released and any charges against her dismissed.

That is unlikely to happen, says Michael Spratt, a lawyer in Ottawa who has written on Canada’s extradition law. In essence, if the accused is credibly charged with something that would also be a crime in Canada, the courts are likely to grant extradition. For the government then to refuse to permit the extradition “would be pretty much unheard of,” he said.

We are between a rock and a hard place – bound to offend the Chinese, unless in order to placate them we offend the Americans far worse. Canada’s highest foreign-policy priority is to prevent the Trump administration from imposing tariffs on Canadian exports. So placating China is not an option. In any case, Canada is bound by history and self-interest to come to the aid of the Americans when called. And the Americans are clearly calling.


Read John Ibbitson’s full article: The Globe and Mail

Leave a comment