MacKay talks tough with China – Bill Schiller

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay just completed a visit to China, during which the case of imprisoned Canadian citizen Huseyin Celil was at the top of his agenda:

Despite two weeks of insistence by the Chinese government that the case of imprisoned Canadian Huseyin Celil was none of ’s business, MacKay made plain – with a vigour some might find surprising – that neither he nor the Canadian government will back down.

MacKay diplomatically told new Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi that Canada definitely wants a “constructive and comprehensive relationship” with China.

But it also wants consular access to Celil. [Full text]

– Read also Xinhua’s take on the visit:

Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay left Beijing Tuesday morning after making a fresh effort to iron out some sensitive issues in bilateral relations with China.

His visit has brought about no apparent signs of immediate resolution of these issues. But both China and Canada agreed to maintain bilateral exchanges and dialogue at all levels on a basis of a forward-looking attitude. …Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said last Thursday China hopes Canada would not interfere in its internal affairs, referring to the case of Huseyin Celil, a China-born Uygur and a prominent member of the “East Turkistan” terrorist organization. [Full text]

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