Though brief, the exchange between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia on November 16 has become a social media sensation. Xi, assertive if not domineering, lectured the visibly apprehensive Trudeau about the etiquette of diplomacy. This exchange can be considered another watershed moment in China’s relationship with the West. “If there was sincerity on your part,” the Chinese President told Trudeau, “then we shall conduct our discussion with an attitude of mutual respect, otherwise there might be unpredictable consequences.” At the end of the awkward conversation, Xi was the first to walk away, leaving Trudeau uncomfortably making his way out of the room. For the significance of this moment to be truly appreciated, it has to be viewed through a historical prism.
The Group of 20, or G20, comprises those nations said to be those with the largest economies in the world. The heads of state who attend the annual summit may have meaningful meetings with one another but the recently convened G20 in Bali, Indonesia was more a source of U.S. inspired drama than anything else. For example, it wasn’t clear if Chinese president Xi Jinping would meet with Joe Biden after the numerous insults involving Taiwan, including sending the Speaker of the House there after China made clear that this was a red line provocation. Of course, being more mature than the Americans, Xi met with Biden, perhaps only to determine if he was up to some new foolish behavior. The summit was fully devoid of any seriousness when the traditional group photo was eliminated because the U.S. and its NATO/EU vassals didn’t want to be seen with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act to deal with the fascist “trucker” convoy has been met with a mix of support, criticism, and confusion. While Trudeau and his government claim that this is necessary to respond to the situation, many of us on the left remain skeptical, having witnessed first-hand the power of police protest control in the absence of the Emergencies Act. So why did the federal government take such a drastic step? First, the border blockades at Coutts in Alberta and the Ambassador Bridge in Ontario were effective enough that they began to hurt sections of big capital. Officials in Michigan used the opportunity to champion Buy-American initiatives. In Windsor, a coalition of auto companies was able to obtain an injunction against the blockade.
When Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau touched down in the Vancouver area on Tuesday as part of his election campaign, a group of protesters against old-growth logging in the Fairy Creek watershed were waiting to greet him at his downtown hotel. A mix of Liberal supporters and protesters, numbering about 150 people in total, stood outside the Marriott Pinnacle Hotel where the leader was expected to spend the night. Many of the protesters carried drums and chanted "Justin Trudeau commits genocide; the Liberal Party commits genocide," as Vancouver Centre Liberal incumbent Dr. Hedy Fry watched in silence. The Liberal Party later told reporters that Trudeau had gone out for dinner rather than heading straight to the hotel as planned because of security concerns from the RCMP.