Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday August 23, 2019
During Ottawa visit, Pompeo attacks China for detaining 2 Canadians
Canada will have the support of the United States until the two Canadians detained in China “are returned to their families,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised Thursday while on a visit to Ottawa.
Pompeo, a high-profile member of the Trump administration, met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his counterpart Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland ahead of the G7 summit in France this weekend.
Canada has been soliciting help from foreign allies in the ongoing dispute with China to secure the release of businessman Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat on leave. The two were detained in China late last year after Canadian officials arrested Chinese telecom executive Meng Wanzhou at the Vancouver airport to face possible extradition to the United States.
“Our team is focused on helping those two Canadians be released. China needs to honour the commitments it’s made to the world, and it is our expectation they’ll do so, and we’re working on it diligently,” said Pompeo during a brief photo opportunity Thursday morning.
Pompeo also made a point of insisting that the cases of Kovrig and Spavor shouldn’t be compared to Meng’s extradition case.
“[China] wants to talk about these two as if they are equivalent, as if they are morally similar, which they fundamentally are not,” he said during a media availability on Thursday afternoon.
“These are fundamentally different matters than the Canadian decision to use their due process and the rule of law to behave in a way that’s deeply consistent with the way decent nations work.”
The U.S., through a one-on-one conversation between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping and “other diplomatic activity,” has told Beijing directly the arrest of the two Canadians was inappropriate, said Pompeo.
“We’ll continue to do that until such time as they’re home and returned to their families,” he said. (CBC)