‘The Pig Looks Into the Mirror’: Chinese Media Calls Out Canada as Spat Grows

Canada is being bashed by the state-run Chinese media and the accusations from Beijing are straight out of a 20th-century Maoist counter-revolutionary playbook, according to reports.

Relations between Canada and the People's Republic of China took a turn for the worse after authorities in Vancouver arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou last month for reportedly failing to comply with US sanctions against Iran. 

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According to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, the US and Canada violated extradition agreements in the case of Meng.

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei chimed in on the matter as well, expressing hope that Ottawa and Washington would soon agree to release Meng.

"Huawei hopes that the US and the Canadian governments would be able to make Miss Meng free again as soon as possible. We also hope for a fair decision by the US and the Chinese judicial systems", the company said in a statement released by the Chinese state-owned daily newspaper Global Times.

Just a few days after Meng's arrest, Chinese authorities detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian businessman Michael Spavor for allegedly posing a threat to the country's national security. Beijing denied that their detention was related to Meng's case.

An editorial posted in the news section of Chinese instant messaging company QQ used a colorful Chinese expression to describe Canada as a nation and Canadians in particular.

In describing Canada, the translation of the Chinese state-run paper roughly equates to: "the pig looks into the mirror, but both the reflection and the pig do not look human". The phrase suggests that the Canadian government is being criticized not only by its own citizens but also by those outside of the nation.

According to the Chinese state-owned Global Times newspaper, Canadians are sending gifts to the Chinese embassy following the Meng incident.

"We are gratified to see that many Canadian people were imbued with a sense of justice, criticizing the Canadian government for its unreasonable behavior," Lu Shaye, the Chinese ambassador to Canada, wrote in a December 2018 article

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In addition, following Meng's arrest, the Global Times published a piece claiming that the incident was an American "plot to throw the company off track," adding that "the Chinese government should seriously mull over the US tendency to abuse legal procedures to suppress China's high-tech enterprises."

Several Chinese editorials have also warned that Canada's oil sector will suffer if it continues to oppose China, claiming that Ottawa is simply demonstrating its loyalty to Washington.

"Canada sometimes acts more like America's ‘51st state' than a sovereign country with a will of its own," the People's Daily Online claimed in a December editorial.

In addition, the Chinese government issued several travel warnings advising its citizens not to go to Canada. In an editorial for the Hill Times, writer Lu Shaye claimed that Canadians are being being motivated by "Western egotism and white supremacy."