12.20.2018 09:47 PM

This is an act of war, actually

‘Hundreds’ of Canadians held by China raises the stakes for Trudeau’s government

OTTAWA—Around 200 Canadians are currently detained in China for a variety of reasons, the Star has learned.

The staggering number paints a worrying picture of what is at stake for the federal Liberal government — and for many individuals abroad and their families here — when it comes to dealing with Beijing’s newly aggressive posture towards Canada.

Federal sources have told the Star the number of those currently detained stands at about 200.

Global Affairs Canada has not yet responded to the Star’s request for clarification of how many of those occurred since tensions heightened.

But sources told the Star up to three arrests a week is common, often involving dual Canadian-Chinese citizens (China does not recognize dual citizenship), in cases of drunkenness, drug use, other kinds of criminality, alleged visa violations, with only a small number considered political cases. Still the broader picture of those who remain in detention right now is alarming.

11 Comments

  1. Campbell says:

    My understanding, having read the article, was that while there are currently 200 Canadians detained in China, that is actually a pretty typical number. It is just the three recently detained ones that we believe are being detained for political reasons.

    Not that detaining our citizens for political reasons isn’t atrocious, but I think it should be clear whether it’s 3 of them, or 200 of them, before we go tossing around phrases like “act of war”.

  2. Voice O'Reason says:

    So is the 11 Canadians dying daily from Chinese fentanyl.
    So is the 450,000 murdered in cold blood in Darfur with Chinese weapons.
    Yet, this nation of lotus eaters loves Justin Trudeau who loves this “basic dictatorship”. If there is a war, Canada will be on the side of China.

  3. Gyor says:

    If it’s a act of war it’s one we made when we kidnapped a Chinese citizen so Trump could use them as a bargaining chip with China. China is just retaliating for what we did.

    • Bruce Marcille says:

      It’s a freakin’ totalitarian regime that will, and has, happily crushed its own people – literally and figuratively.

      Besides, anything that disrupts China’s cyber war (industrial and traditional espionage) is welcome.

    • Steve T says:

      First off, I hate Trump as much as anyone. However, comparing the arrest of (and due process given to) Meng, to the random detention of Canadians for bogus “crimes”, is ridiculous.

      Yes, Trump is using this as leverage, which is unfortunate and revolting (which can be said of many Trump actions). However, to justify China’s actions because we hate Trump is silly.

    • Jim R says:

      What Bruce Marcille and Steve T said.
      False equivalence.

    • Fred from BC says:

      Oh, please…we ‘kidnapped’ no one.

      The US made a valid, legal extradition request (just as we do when a Canadian criminal flees to the US) and we responded as required by our existing treaty. There is no question about the validity of the criminal charge brought against the Huwai CFO, and Donald Trump didn’t make his stupid comments until the next day.

  4. Jim R says:

    I was under the impression that China did not allow dual citizenship, rather than not recognize it. I.e., if a Chinese citizen takes out Canadian citizenship, he/she loses his/her Chinese citizenship. Is that incorrect?

    At any rate, how many of these 200 Canadians held are dual Chinese-Canadian citizens? The Master Nationality Rule says that a country can be expected to treat you as if you don’t hold any other citizenships when in that country, with the possible exception of a consular agreement and that you travelled to that country using your other citizenship’s passport. I.e., if a dual Chinese-Canadian citizen travels to China using his/her Chinese passport, then Canada has no real basis to expect China to treat that person as a Canadian citizen.

    See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_Nationality_Rule

  5. Jim R says:

    I was under the impression that China did not allow dual citizenship, rather than not recognize it. I.e., if a Chinese citizen takes out Canadian citizenship, he/she loses his/her Chinese citizenship. Is that incorrect?

    At any rate, how many of these 200 Canadians held are dual Chinese-Canadian citizens? The Master Nationality Rule says that a country can be expected to treat you as if you don’t hold any other citizenships when in that country, with the possible exception of a consular agreement and that you travelled to that country using your other citizenship’s passport. I.e., if a dual Chinese-Canadian citizen travels to China using his/her Chinese passport, then Canada has no real basis to expect China to treat that person as a Canadian citizen.

    Google: Master Nationality Rule

  6. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    I know less than zip about extradition but when a request is duly and properly constituted, doesn’t Canada have no choice but to respect the rule of law and comply?

    Obviously, the torture, or potential for torture exception doesn’t apply here.

  7. Fred from BC says:

    Agreed…this is a hostile act by a rogue government. All those liberals (and Liberals) who have tried to justify trade ties with China by tiptoeing around Chinese spying and political belligerence and looking the other way at their horrendous human rights violations should take note: increased trade with them is NOT resulting in a kinder, gentler nation easing its way toward democracy and respect for individual rights. It is only making them richer, and they are not spending that money on making life better and easier for their people or cleaning up their environment…they are instead using it to EXPAND THEIR MILITARY CAPABILITY, so they can go ahead and seize more disputed territory and bully more nations into accepting what they see as an inherent right to control all of Asia.

    Stop all trade and diplomatic relations with them.

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