Canada calls for ‘united front’ against China
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has urged Western “capitalist democracies” to band together to prevent Beijing from taking advantage of their infighting over the profits from China’s growing markets.
In an interview with Global News aired on Saturday, Trudeau said that Western countries must “do a better job of working together and standing strong so that China can’t… play the angles and divide us one against the other.”
“There's been a bit of competition, amongst friends, because we are capitalist democracies… especially given the extraordinary economic opportunity of the rising Chinese middle class,” he said, all but admitting that economic benefits outweigh the West’s publicly stated concerns about China’s alleged human rights abuses and “coercive” behavior.
We’ve been competing and China has been from time to time very cleverly playing us off each other in an open market competitive way.
There are some global issues, such as climate change, that Canada must continue to work with China, Trudeau noted. But in order to compete with China economically, all “like-minded countries” should pull together, coordinate, and “show a united front,” he said.
Canada’s already sour relations with China hit a new low this month, after Ottawa joined the US-led diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games. Echoing rhetoric from Washington and Canberra, Trudeau accused China of “repeated human rights violations” over its alleged mistreatment of Uyghur Muslims, triggering a harsh rebuke from Beijing.
“Clinging to Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice, Canada and a handful of western countries interfere in the internal affairs of other countries under the pretext of human rights in an attempt to disrupt and contain their development process,” the Chinese Embassy in Canada said at the time. “Canada is simply not qualified to be 'a human rights preacher' and is certainly in no position to judge China on this front.”