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Tainted justice? Jailing of a Canadian ‘spy’ in China is a result of US desire to drive a wedge between Ottawa and Beijing

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Over the past few days, China has handed down sentences for Canadian nationals detained in the country for various misdeeds. One of them is being sentenced to death for smuggling drugs – nothing particularly unusual in an Asian context – while the other is accused more ambiguously of ‘espionage’.

This latter case, the jailing for 11 years of businessman Michael Spavor for spying, has long been perceived as a retaliatory measure for Canada's detention of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, whose extradition case is coming to a close soon. The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has condemned the sentence. This is not an unreasonable thing for him to do, yet that does not mean that his assessment of the situation is not biased along ideological and geopolitical lines.

For that matter, commentators seem to actively ignore or underplay the role of the United States in having created this drama. They also dismiss the painfully obvious reality that Meng's arrest on behalf of the Trump administration was a bad faith, politically motivated stunt as part of a broader US effort to destroy the reputation of Huawei and to simultaneously drive a wedge between China's relationship with Canada.

This dynamic is almost completely dismissed in favour of the one-sided mantra of depicting Canada as a victim of Chinese tyranny and presenting its legal system as completely illegitimate. The scores of Western diplomats who hoarded outside of the court today as a publicity stunt sends an insulting message to China which stirs historical memories, and is an important part of the context as to why Beijing reacted the way it did. This context is important to a balanced understanding.

The United States is a master of playing ‘wedge politics’ – that is, taking actions to drive........

© RT.com

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