Ottawa has kicked out a diplomat for ‘international interference,’ however its fixed spats with Beijing are themselves instigated from overseas
By Timur Fomenko, a political analyst
On Tuesday, China and Canada engaged in a tit-for-tat expulsion of diplomats. The row was triggered by allegations that Chinese language diplomat Zhao Wei had “interfered” in Canadian politics, apparently focusing on anti-China Conservative MP Michael Chong.
The claims created a media firestorm in Ottawa after the Canadian Secret Intelligence Service (CSIS) reportedly accused “an accredited Chinese language diplomat” of focusing on Chong. Justin Trudeau’s authorities, below political stress from the opposition, subsequently determined to behave.
This row isn’t the primary to derail relations between China and Canada. It’s one in every of many, together with Ottawa’s resolution to arrest Huawei government Meng Wanzhou in 2018, China’s retaliatory arrest of Canadian nationals Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, Ottawa’s sporadic allegations of Chinese language interference, after which Xi Jinping’s harsh rebuke of Trudeau on the sidelines of the G20 summit final November. It’s truthful to say that relations between the 2 nations are in a state of freefall. However the query may be requested, who’s the actual perpetrator right here? Or extra to the purpose, who governs Canada?
Allegations of international interference are a humorous factor, as a result of they have an inclination to solely be used in opposition to nations who characterize an ideological or cultural “different.” They by no means give attention to sure “allied” nations that truly do intervene within the nation’s politics, controlling its media and political discourse, whereas utilizing assume tanks, usually sponsored by army and authorities our bodies, and to intentionally trigger controversies in Canada in an effort to steer the nation in a sure course. It appears, for instance, very fishy that within the midst of this entire saga, the US-sponsored Middle for Strategic and Worldwide Research assume tank printed an article calling for Canada to hitch AUKUS, the Australia, UK, US Pacific army alliance.
If it was not apparent sufficient already, no nation has interfered in Canadian politics greater than the USA. Though Canada seems extra “progressive” and “forward-thinking” than its southern neighbor in lots of respects, the fact is that Ottawa is a loyal and obligated follower of the US and steadfast in its dedication to Anglophone exceptionalism. Though Canada is geographically bigger than the US, its inhabitants is about 10% the dimensions and as such, it’s strategically, economically, culturally, and geographically dominated by Washington, giving it little or no leverage in its international coverage course.
Arguably, out of all of the 5 Eyes nations (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand), these realities imply Canada has the least political autonomy and house to pursue its personal international coverage path. Whereas below Trudeau the nation isn’t as brazenly aggressive because it may need been below its conservative prime ministers, the US has been deftly manipulating Canadian politics by both driving by means of “wedge points” equivalent to arresting Meng, or utilizing financial leverage to coerce Canada into making anti-China commitments. The US–Mexico–Canada Settlement (USMCA) and its “poison tablet” clause, which permits the US to terminate the whole settlement if Canada enters right into a free-trade settlement with a “non-market” financial system (i.e. China), is a wonderful instance.
Likewise, by means of the 5 Eyes mechanism, the US exerts direct affect over Canada’s intelligence service, the CSIS, which in flip, then cooperates with and manipulates the Canadian mainstream media by means of newspapers such because the Globe and Mail. This has lengthy been revealed intimately by Canadian investigative web site The Canada Information. With Canada having a better proportion of ethnic Chinese language residents than some other Anglosphere nation, amounting to just about 5% of the inhabitants, this has been weaponized right into a wholesale “yellow peril” narrative. Whereas Canada is seemingly extra progressive, one ought to be aware that beneath the floor, the inspiration of the nation and its heritage is constructed on racism. The liberal picture of Trudeau’s authorities, for one, is well overshadowed by the darkish legacy of indigenous boarding colleges, whereby hundreds died by the hands of authorities in what is taken into account genocide by many.
But, regardless of this heritage, Canadian politicians commonly level fingers at China, accusing it of genocide of Uyghurs, particularly figures equivalent to Chong, who sponsored a 2021 movement to that finish. This demonstrates the issue the nation faces. Who actually governs Canada, and which nation is definitely interfering in its politics? The truth that Ottawa is repeatedly roped into supporting Washington’s preferences, insurance policies, and worldviews isn’t a lot an alliance sure by widespread values as it’s full-scale manipulation of the nation’s politics. The US baits Canada into making abrasive and rash strikes which provoke China, just for Beijing to reply, after which for Ottawa to border itself because the sufferer. However is that this narrative actually true? Canadians ought to consider who the actual perpetrator is right here.
The statements, views and opinions expressed on this column are solely these of the creator and don’t essentially characterize these of RT.