Nusa Dua, Indonesia — Chinese President Xi Jinping complained to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday about a lack of confidentiality, following bilateral talks during the G20 summit on the Indonesian island of Bali.
“Everything we discussed yesterday has been leaked to the papers. This is not the way how we do it,” Xi told Trudeau in a video recorded on the sidelines of the summit.
“If there is sincerity, we will take the attitude of mutual respect to conduct the dialogue. Otherwise, the result is not easy to say,” Xi added.
“In Canada we believe in free, open and frank dialogue,” Trudeau countered. “I continue to look to work constructively together, but there will be things we will disagree about,” the Canadian premier added.
Apparently disgruntled, Xi responded: “let’s create the conditions,” before shaking Trudeau’s hand, putting on a friendly face and walking off.
The talks between Xi and Trudeau were the first between the two leaders in more than three years, but did not have the status of an official encounter. Media reported that Trudeau had complained during their meeting of Chinese meddling in Canada’s democracy.
Relations between China and Canada are strained. Following Canada’s arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in 2018, at Washington’s behest, China detained two Canadians on accusations of espionage.
Following lengthy negotiations involving the US judiciary, Meng was able to return to China in 2021, in an exchange that also saw the release of the two Canadian citizens.
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