diplomacy   5347

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Ottawa is on the wrong side of Chinese power
January 15, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | JOHN IBBITSON.

Is there a way Canada could have avoided acting on an extradition request of the United States – employing the “creative incompetence” that former Liberal foreign minister John Manley said might have prevented the detention of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou? She is the daughter of Huawei’s founder, and Chinese anger at her detention is fierce and real.

“I’m with John Manley that we could have creatively avoided our responsibilities,” said Lynette Ong, a political scientist at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. Canada could manage American anger at letting Ms. Meng slip away more easily than it is managing China’s anger over her detention, Prof. Ong believes.

Did Canadian officials in Ottawa miss an opportunity to de-escalate the conflict through quiet diplomacy, rather than ratcheting up the rhetoric over what appeared to be the retaliatory detention of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor? Should they have foreseen that the Chinese might further retaliate by increasing the punishment of convicted drug trafficker Robert Schellenberg from 15 years to a sentence of death? How much of this is Donald Trump’s fault?

Or was none of this preventable?....So, what next?....The government obviously cannot interfere with the judicial process that will determine whether Ms. Meng is extradited to the United States. Nor can Mr. Trudeau attempt to resolve the situation by direct talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, ....A successful conclusion to Sino-American trade talks might calm things down......Ong urges Mr. Trudeau to put down his public megaphone, and to focus on “quiet diplomacy behind the scenes.”.......There is another, deeper, concern. For at least two decades, Liberal and Conservative governments have concentrated more and more decision-making in foreign affairs in the Office of the Prime Minister. Global Affairs Canada may no longer have the capacity it once had to manage critical files, and political advisers to Ms. Freeland and Mr. Trudeau may be out of their depth, missing subtle signals and opportunities to reduce tensions between Ottawa and Beijing.
5G  Canada  China  China_rising  Canada-China_relations  Chrystia_Freeland  crossborder  foreign_policy  Huawei  John_Ibbitson  John_Manley  Liberals  Meng_Wanzhou  reprisals  Xi_Jinping  Justin_Trudeau  diplomacy  PMO 
5 days ago by jerryking
It’s Time for a Serious Saudi-Houthi Back Channel - WoTR
In assessing what the Houthis want, it is important to note the “Houthis” are not a monolith — many groups in Yemen that are deemed pro-Houthi and/or pro-Ansar Allah (the Houthi family’s political entity) are more accurately defined as anti-Saudi at this stage in the conflict. Even at its ideological core, members of the al-Houthi family itself as well as Ansar Allah fall on a spectrum between more moderate and more hardcore camps. A Yemen scholar who knows the Houthis well told us that the moderates are in favor of dropping the Houthi sarkha (or slogan) — “God is Great, Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse the Jews, Victory to Islam.” The most militant are said to see the sarkha as an effective rallying cry and to be increasingly under the sway of Iranian revolutionary ideology. A serious and sustained effort at Saudi-Houthi talks might offer an opportunity to marginalize the hardcore elements. Diplomacy has a way of marginalizing the fringes in the same way that war emboldens them.
Yemen  Houthi  Saudi-Arabia  diplomacy  Iran 
9 days ago by elizrael
Pentagon Pushes Forward on Syria Pullout
“Nothing has changed,” one defense official said. “We don’t take orders from Bolton.”
Unitedstates  Syria  Military  Trump  Diplomacy  Turkey 
10 days ago by elijahz
Syrian Kurds seek Damascus deal regardless of U.S. moves | Reuters
“The final decision is (to reach an) agreement with Damascus, we will work in this direction regardless of the cost, even if the Americans object,” Jia Kurd said in the northern Syrian city of Qamishli.

The main aims of the road-map are to protect the border from Turkey, to find a way to integrate the governing structures of northern Syria into the constitution, and to ensure a fair distribution of resources in northern and eastern Syria.
Mar15  KurdishRights  PYD  diplomacy  Russia  Assad 
17 days ago by elizrael

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