Canadian panel calls for ‘targeted sanctions’ on China for its role in Hong Kong
It is among the recommendations listed in a report released by the House of Commons special committee on Canada-China relations, marking yet another low in the two countries’ deteriorating ties
A Canadian parliamentary committee has called upon the government to work with like-minded countries to impose “targeted sanctions” on Chinese officials “responsible for or complicit in gross violations of human rights, freedoms and the rule of law in Hong Kong”.
It is among the recommendations listed in a report released by the House of Commons special committee on Canada-China relations, marking yet another low in the two countries’ deteriorating ties.
The panel is headed by Geoff Regan, a member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ruling Liberal Party caucus.
It also said that in “light of the allegations of threats and intimidation against people in Canada supporting human rights and democracy in Hong Kong, the government of Canada carefully review accredited diplomatic personnel in the People’s Republic of China’s diplomatic missions to Canada”.
It asked the government to consider “issuing travel documents to facilitate the safe and immediate exit from Hong Kong of pro-democracy activists” while making clear that “it will not act upon or support any arrest warrants or requests for legal assistance that are connected to the enforcement of the national security law imposed on Hong Kong”.
The report from the panel is the latest flashpoint in escalating tensions between Canada and China. Bilateral ties began spiralling downwards ever since Canadian authorities arrested Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, in Vancouver in 2018 on an extradition request from the US for alleged fraud and violation of sanctions placed on Iran.
Earlier this week, Canada’s House of Commons had passed a motion that labelled Chinese actions against Uighurs in Xinjiang a “genocide”.
It had also passed an amendment to the motion calling on the International Olympic Committee to move the 2022 Winter Olympic Games from China to another country.
The 2022 Winter Games are scheduled to be held in Beijing and few other Chinese cities from February 4-20.
Canadian activists have been consistently calling for the 2022 Olympics to be moved out of China and hosted by a “free country”.
A joint statement to this effect was issued jointly by Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project, Canadian Friends of Hong Kong, and Students for a Free Tibet Canada.
“If the new host city needs more time, the 2022 Olympics can be postponed by a year, as what Tokyo has done for the 2020 Games due to Covid-19,” the statement said, noting that “free” venues such as Vancouver-Whistler in Canada, which had hosted the 2010 Winter Games, “have the experience, existing facilities and infrastructure to host it again”.
Referring to Beijing having hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics, Youdon Tsamotshang, who heads a Tibetan group, said, “It’s really shocking that China was given a second chance without bettering the human rights situation.”