Chinese President Xi Jinping was caught Wednesday in a rare moment of candor by a Canadian broadcaster, in which he described his Canadian counterpart, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as a “leaked” argument.
During the G20 summit in Indonesia, President Xi smiled and chatted with Prime Minister Trudeau in Mandarin. However, the English translation of what he said was a little unfriendly.
“Everything we discussed was leaked to the newspapers and it’s not appropriate,” Xi’s interpreter said.
Trudeau nodded and President Xi spoke again. “And that wasn’t how the conversation was conducted,” said the translator.
“If there is sincerity on your part, we will proceed with mutual respect, otherwise there may be unpredictable results,” Xi told Canadian leaders in Mandarin. .
Xi’s translator tried to translate what was said, only to get to “if there was sincerity on your part” before being interrupted by Trudeau.
“In Canada, we believe in free, open and candid dialogue,” Trudeau said, adding: “We will continue to work together constructively, but there will be times when we disagree.”
“Let’s create the conditions first,” said the translator on behalf of Xi in the video. The Chinese leader then shook Trudeau’s hand and left with his entourage.
The exchange provides a rare glimpse into how Xi interacts with other leaders in public appearances.
Trudeau said in a statement to the media after the meeting on Wednesday that not all conversations would be “easy.”
“But it is very important that we continue to stand up for what is important to Canadians. This is what we have always done and will continue to do,” Trudeau said.
Their exchange comes as they attempt to reassert China’s global influence at a summit in Bali after nearly three years off the world stage.
China’s relationship with U.S. allies has deteriorated in recent years, despite rising geopolitical tensions, disputes over trade, the cause of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the war between Russia and Ukraine, due to an expanded partnership with Beijing and Moscow. Worse to varying degrees.
Xi plans to meet US President Joe Biden on Monday and restore ties at a summit. He also held official talks with the leaders of Australia, France, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, Senegal, Argentina, Indonesia and South Korea.
Canada cannot afford such a meeting, and the perversion may have something to do with the volatile relationship between the two countries since the detention of a senior Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, in Canada in 2018. Nine days later in China he was detained by two Canadians. All three are released in his 2021.