Jinping criticises Trudeau in awkward exchange at G20 summit

 Chinese Presi­dent, Xi Jinping, has been filmed accusing Canadian Prime Minis­ter (PM), Justin Trudeau, of leaking meeting details days after they held talks at the G20 summit in Bali.

President Jinping told Prime Minister Trudeau via a translator this was inappropriate and ac­cused him of lacking “sincerity”.

He was likely referring to re­ports that Mr Trudeau discussed alleged Chinese espionage and interference in Canadian elections at the sit down.

The talks, which happened behind closed doors, were the pair’s first in years. In the footage, filmed by journalists at the now finished gathering of world leaders, President Jinping and Mr Trudeau can be seen standing close to each other and convers­ing via a translator.

“Everything we discussed has been leaked to the papers and that is not appropriate,” the Chinese leader told Mr Trudeau in Man­darin. It captures a rare candid moment of President Jinping, whose image is normally carefully curated by Chinese state media.

After smiling and nodding his head, the Canadian PM respond­ed by saying “in Canada, we believe in free and open and frank dialogue and that is what we will continue to have”.

“We will continue to look to work constructively togeth­er but there will be things we disagree on,” he added. Before Mr Trudeau could finish, Presi­dent Xi cut his counterpart off and asked that he first “create the conditions” – eventually shaking Prime Minister Trudeau’s hand and walking away.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson played down the incident, describing it as a normal exchange that should not be inter­preted as criticising or blaming anyone.

The spokesperson, Mao Ning, added that Beijing supported having frank exchanges as long as they were held on an equal basis.

The short but revealing exchange highlighted tensions between China and Canada, running high since the detention of Huawei Technologies Execu­tive Meng Wanzhou in 2018, and Beijing’s subsequent arrest of two Canadians on spying charges. All three were later released.

But tensions recently resurged following the arrest of Yuesheng Wang, a public utility worker at Hydro-Quebec, who was charged with espionage. -BBC

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