- BBC News World
Chinese President Xi Jinping has been filmed accusing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of leaking details of their meeting, days after they had a conversation at the G20 summit in Bali.
Xi Jinping told Trudeau, through an interpreter, that it was inappropriate and accused him of it lack of “honesty”.
He was likely referring to reports that Trudeau raised the issue of Chinese espionage and interference in the Canadian elections during the conversation.
The talks, which took place behind closed doors, were the first in years between the two leaders.
In the video, which was filmed by reporters covering the just-concluded summit in Indonesia, Xi and Trudeau can be seen standing closely and speaking through a translator.
The Chinese president told his counterpart in Mandarin that “everything we discussed was leaked to the newspapers and this is not appropriate.”
mode captures a A rare moment of spontaneity from President Xiwhose image is usually carefully controlled by Chinese state media.
After smiling and nodding, the Canadian Prime Minister responded by saying, “We in Canada believe in frank and open dialogue and that is what we will continue to achieve.”
“We will continue to strive to work constructively together, but there will be things we will disagree about,” he added.
Before Trudeau could finish, Xi interrupted to tell him to “create the conditions” first, then shook his counterpart’s hand and they walked away.
Tensions between China and Canada
A spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry played down the incident, describing it as a normal exchange that should not be interpreted as criticism or accusation of anyone.
The spokeswoman, Mao Ning, added that Beijing supports frank exchanges as long as they are on an equal footing.
The brief but revealing exchange is highlighted Tensions between China and Canada, which has intensified since the arrest of CEO Meng Wanzhou, of tech company Huawei, in 2018, and the subsequent arrest by China of two Canadians on espionage charges. All three were later released.
However, tensions flared recently after Yu Sheng Wang, an employee of the public utility Hydro-Quebec, was arrested on espionage charges.
“They want to obtain trade secrets for the benefit of the People’s Republic of China at the expense of Canada’s economic interests,” the Canadian police said in a statement.
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