Canadian envoy sacking shows ‘political interference: Media

BEIJING (AFP) – Chinese state-run media yesterday decried the sacking of Canada’s ambassador to Beijing, who was fired after he suggested it would be “great” for Ottawa to release a detained Huawei executive.

The former envoy, John McCallum, had raised eyebrows over a series of remarks regarding the case of Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, whose arrest has sparked a diplomatic row between Beijing and Ottawa.

The resignation, at the request of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, “reveals political interference”, nationalist tabloid Global Times said in an editorial.

Ottawa is now as “sensitive as a frightened bird”, the newspaper said, noting the visceral political reactions to McCallum’s comments.

“The truth is that they knew the geopolitics in the case from the very beginning, but were afraid to point them out,” it said.

Meng was arrested in December at the behest of the United States, where she is wanted for alleged violations of Iranian sanctions. US authorities plan to formally file for her extradition by a January 30 deadline.

Beijing has reacted furiously to Meng’s detention.

In apparent retaliation, two Canadian citizens have been detained on national security grounds.

File photo shows John McCallum leaving a meeting in Sherbrooke, Quebec. – AP