Further to this post,
Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland takes slow approach to China
China wants a free trade deal with Canada. It’s no longer clear Canada wants the same, even as Ottawa and Beijing prepare for joint leaders’ meetings that might otherwise provide an ideal stage for a major announcement.
On Friday [July 8], Canadian International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland sat down with Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng in Shanghai, during Ms. Freeland’s first ministerial trip to China.
But in a subsequent 15-minute interview with The Globe and Mail in which she was repeatedly asked about the topic, Ms. Freeland never once used the words “free trade.”
She instead signalled Canada will move slowly when it comes to China – the world’s second-largest economy, but a country ruled by an authoritarian regime that jails critics [see ‘How Convenient: “Ontario minister Michael Chan defends China’s human-rights record”‘], heavily censors speech [see “The Dragon vs the Press: Covert (Canada); Overt (Hong Kong)“] and continues to detain a Canadian missionary on spying charges.
…asked about her unwillingness to use the words “free trade,” Ms. Freeland offered no comment.
“You can quote what I’ve said,” she replied.
One wonders if the good minister read the story by Terry Glavin on which this post was based: