TORONTO, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Canada's "eyes are wide open"
when it comes to normalizing its relationship with China,
Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said on Sunday, after three years
of rocky ties with Beijing since the arrest and Friday's release
of a Huawei Technologies executive.
Garneau told CBC News the government is now following a
four-fold approach to China: "coexist," "compete," "co-operate,"
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren
Zhengfei, flew back to China after reaching an agreement with
U.S. prosecutors to end a bank fraud case against her. That
resulted in the scrapping of her nearly three year extradition
battle in a Canadian court.
Soon after Meng flew to China, Michael Kovrig and Michael
Spavor - the two Canadians detained by Chinese authorities just
days after Meng's arrest in December 2018 - were released by
"There was no path to a relationship with China as long as
the two Michaels were being detained," Garneau said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Garneau received the two
Canadians on Saturday when they arrived in the western Canadian
city of Calgary after spending more than 1,000 days in solitary
Trudeau, who won a third term on Sept. 20 election after a
tight race, had vowed to improve ties with China since he first
became prime minister in 2015, building on his father's success
in establishing diplomatic ties with China in 1970.
But even before Meng's arrest, Canada's repeated questioning
of China's human rights issues has irked Beijing, and the two
countries have failed to come closer.
China has always denied any link between Meng's extradition
case and the detention of the two Canadians, but Garneau said,
"the immediate return of the two Michaels linked" it to Meng's
case in a "very direct manner."
Garneau also said he didn't think the timing of the men's
return had anything to do with the timing of the federal
"I think it just worked out that way."
(Reporting by Denny Thomas; editing by Grant McCool)