In a statement, John McCallum says he ”misspoke” the other night in Markham when he told Chinese-language reporters there are strong legal arguments that could help Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou avoid extradition to the U.S.
”These comments do not accurately represent my position on this issue. As the government has consistently made clear, there has been no political involvement in this process.”
Prior to the diplomat’s statement, China’s foreign ministry said it has noted the remarks by McCallum and is reiterating its demand that Meng Wanzhou be released from what it calls her unjust detention.
A ministry spokeswoman says China’s made its stern position clear and hopes Canada will make ”the right choice instead of risking endangering itself for other’s gains.”
Canada detained Meng at the request of the U.S., which wants to extradite her for allegedly evading sanctions against Iran.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is dismissing calls for his resignation, saying he does not believe that would help free Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor any sooner.
(Michael Spavor, Michael Kovrig)
As for McCallum’s remarks earlier this week, Lynette Ong, political science professor and expert on China at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the U of T, told Zoomer Radio’s ”Fight Back” with Libby Znaimer, the ambassador was not acting alone.
”I think this is all part of the coordinated strategy by our government to get out of this situation because the prime minister or the foreign minister couldn’t possibly say this to the public.”
Ong adds unprecedented times call for ”unconventional thinking and solutions to get us out of this mess”.