January 17th, 2019

Foreign Affairs Committee Agrees to Opposition Call for Briefing on China

NDP Critic for Foreign Affairs and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, Hélène Laverdière, issued the following statement:

“I am pleased the Liberal government has agreed to our request for the Foreign Affairs Committee to receive a briefing on Canada-China relations from Ambassador McCallum.

New Democrats are increasingly concerned with the escalating incidents between our country and China. This kind of tit-for-tat has the potential to degrade the rule of the law around the world. That is why we welcome the opportunity to hear directly from the Ambassador to China. As Parliamentarians, we hope to gain a better understanding of the Chinese perspective and how Canada could improve the use of diplomatic channels to resolve these tensions.

In particular, the death sentence against a Canadian citizen in China is extremely distressing news. The death penalty is an extreme form of cruel punishment in any place, but particularly if it used in a justice system that is politicized.

It is also disturbing to see other Canadians arrested by Chinese authorities in what seems to be retaliation for the arrest of a Huawei executive. The Minister must ensure these Canadians continue to have consular access and call on China to respect their due process rights.

The NDP believes diplomatic avenues with China should always be open, but what the Liberal government does should be based on international law and human rights. Ms. Wanzhou and other Canadians should not be used as pawns in resolving disputes between the two countries.”