What will Canada’s relationship with China be with the two free Michaels?

While the return of two detained Canadians ended a contentious dispute between Canada and China, experts say Ottawa now faces some tough decisions when it comes to Beijing.

University of British Columbia professor Paul Evans, one of Canada’s leading experts on China and Asia, expects a series of decisions to be implemented in the coming weeks and months, now that Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have returned home.

Among the decisions Evans hopes is whether to allow Chinese telecoms giant Huawei to participate in Canada’s 5G wireless network, and to what extent Canadian universities will be able to work with Chinese entities.

University of Ottawa professor Roland Paris, who served as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first foreign policy adviser, says the re-elected Liberal government should also act quickly to develop a long-term strategy for dealing with China.

The Liberals promised on their electoral platform that they would develop a comprehensive strategy for the Asia-Pacific region, which Paris says is long overdue and will be necessary to navigate what will be a challenging relationship.

Spavor and Kovrig were released after being held in a Chinese prison for more than 1,000 days in apparent retaliation for the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Canada.

Wanzhou was released from Canadian custody on Friday after reaching a plea deal with US authorities, where she had faced charges of fraud.

This Canadian Press report was first published on September 26, 2021.


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