NATIONAL PULSE – No friendship with China until the Michaels are set free

(Image: Mel Rothenburger file photo.)


March 16, 2021 – Amid news from Chinese state-affiliated media that the trials of detained Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor will begin “soon,” their fellow citizens say Sino-Canadian relations cannot improve until the men are released.

“The Michaels,” as they have come to be known, have been in Chinese detention since December 2018. Now, with talk of a Canadian “reset” on China policy, new public opinion data from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds 77 per cent of Canadians of the view that any warming of relations between the two countries is dependent on China setting Spavor and Kovrig free.

Canadian opinions of the Chinese state remain sour: 14 per cent say they have a favourable view of China (unchanged from last year) while only one-in-ten (11%) would advocate for closer trade ties with the nation.

A slight majority are also in little mood for Beijing’s upcoming Olympics. Just over half (56%) say team Canada should sit the 2022 games out.

More Key Findings:

  • Three-quarters of Canadians agree that China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims in the country should be called a genocide. The House of Commons recently voted to declare it as such.
  • Four-in-five Canadians (79%) now say that respect for human rights and the rule of law should supersede trade and investment opportunities in Canada’s dealings with China. This is a 17-point increase in the number holding this view since 2019
  • Very few Canadians feel that the Chinese government has offered an honest account of what happened during the COVID-19 outbreak. Just nine per cent feel the Chinese leadership have given a fair and accurate depiction of events.

Link to the poll here:

About Mel Rothenburger (9648 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on NATIONAL PULSE – No friendship with China until the Michaels are set free

  1. Walter Trkla // March 26, 2021 at 6:10 AM // Reply

    Most It seems to me that many in our society are perfectly ready to ignore dictatorial methods, secret police, systematic falsification of history so long as they feel that it is on ‘our’ side. Why are comments such as the ones above ignoring the plight of Meng Wanzhou or Assange or many wars that we participate in illegally?

    Our society is saturated with “emotional nationalism,” and systematic falsification of history directly and by commission. What is most frightening is our willingness to disbelieve in the existence of objective truth because all the facts have to fit in with our view that we are exceptional, and only we can tell fact from fiction.

    Just imagine if China or Russia sent one of their destroyers into the Gulf of Mexico or into the Labrador Sea what the Media would write.

  2. Mr Graham is almost dead on.All civilized democratic nations should together have no further trade or diplomatic interchange with China for all the obvious reasons.Maybe our people and govt.will begin to think when we see one of their new gigantic aircraft carriers just outside our 12 mile limit.

  3. It is pointless to try to converse or negotiate with an absolutist power that imprisons people for how and what they think. We must find other markets for our products, and other sources for the Chinese imports we buy.

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