The exercises planned for 2019 at CFB Petawawa, Ont. , have been canceled by Gen. Jonathan Vance, chief of defense, shortly after the arrest of the two Michaels
The Liberal government was dismayed when the Canadian military canceled winter exercises with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. This emerges from top secret documents released on Wednesday.
The exercises planned for 2019 at CFB Petawawa, Ont. , have been canceled by Gen. Jonathan Vance, chief of defense, reported shortly after the two Michaels were arrested on Wednesday by The Globe and Mail and Rebel Media, which put the documents online.
A memo from Global Affairs to the Deputy Secretary of State said: “With scrutiny tightened, any decision by Canada to cut ties should be carefully considered to avoid sending unhelpful or unintended messages. ”
According to the records, concerns about the winter exercises were raised on the sidelines of a conference attended by the secret service countries Five Five Eyes (FEYs) – Canada, USA. S.. . , the U. K. . , Australia and New Zealand. The concerns apparently came from the U. . S.. .
In the documents, the detained Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are referred to as « consular cases ». They were arrested in China after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, managing director of Huawei Technologies, on a layover at Vancouver Airport at the request of U.. S.. . Meng and Huawei face numerous charges in the U. S.. . Due to allegations, they put the international bank HSBC at risk of violating U.. S.. . Sanctions against Iran, allegations that both she and the tech giant deny.
“Our impression is that DND / CAF’s reluctance to deal with PLA is not just related to women. Meng’s arrest and the consular cases – that there are other reasons for their interest in breaking up. In our view, it may also be linked to a desire to be fully in tune with the FEYs, especially the U.. S ”, reads one of the documents labeled“ secret. ”
One of the concerns of the U. . S.. . in connection with the « unwanted transfer of knowledge » from Canada to China.
A February 2019 memo to Ian Shugart, Deputy Secretary of State, said: « Should Canada significantly reduce its military engagement in China, China will likely view it as retaliation in connection with the Meng Wanzhou case. ”
The memo also states that there should be « careful communication strategies » in place when DND / CAF cancels other events to avoid being associated with the Meng case.
A draft letter from Shugart to Defense Department Deputy Secretary Jody Thomas said the military should consult Global Affairs before taking any action that could affect Canada-China affairs.
Despite the deteriorating relationship between Canada and China, the Liberal government was keen to maintain relations, according to the documents.
« While resolving consular cases is a top priority for the Canadian government, some degree of continuity remains important in other parts of Canada-China relations, » the memo to Shugart said.
On Wednesday, the day the two Michaels were imprisoned for exactly two years, Prime Minister Trudeau reiterated the importance of their cases.
« In the past two years, two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, have been arbitrarily arrested by China and Canada has done absolutely everything to get them home safely, » Trudeau said at the House of Commons.
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Justin Trudeau, China, Canada, Canadian Armed Forces, military exercise
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