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October 19, 2020

Trudeau talks tough

Reuel S. Amdur

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Prime Minister Trudeau has decided to get tough with China, but the timing is off. The time to get tough is after our four (not two!) political prisoners are back home and our four prisoners in China sentenced to death for drug offenses have their sentences reduced. Getting tough will simply irritate the Chinese leadership. In retaliation they may begin to execute the drug offenders.

Tough talk will do nothing for Canadian captives in China—guaranteed.  China is quite open to use hostage-taking as a political tool, not just for Canada.  It does the same with Australia, but Australia has no Chinese prisoners with whom to negotiate.  We have Meng Wanzhou.  China wants to play “Let’s make a deal.”  We have no alternative.  It is the only game in town.

Play it or stand by on the sidelines cursing, while the situation worsens.  The political prisoners remain in custody for years more and the drug offenders await execution and having their organs harvested.  Eventually Meng is off to the United States and we will have lost the only bargaining chip we had.

The deal: Send Meng back in exchange for Michael Spavor, Michael Kovrig, Sun Qian, and Huseyin Celil, with the death sentences reduced.  That is a package deal.  Nothing less.

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