Western arrogance and anger about the economic prowess of a non-white nation resulted in Xi Jinping’s very public dressing down of Justin Trudeau.
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 usual 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. But an interesting encounter between Xi Jinping and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau was both amusing and instructive about China and how it is perceived and treated by western nations.
Xi and Trudeau spoke briefly at the G20 but not in an official bilateral meeting. According to media reports Trudeau raised the issue of whether China had funded candidates in the 2019 federal elections. As the meeting was not official, there were no readouts about the conversation, but the leaked conversation didn’t sit well with Xi.
Trudeau is fortunate that Xi is the smarter and more mature of the two men. In fact, Xi has good reason not to speak to Trudeau at all. In 2018 the Trump administration asked the Canadians to arrest Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of the Huawei corporation and the daughter of its founder. The extradition request was based upon a claim that China was violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. The charge was of questionable legality and Canada should have refused to act on the Trump administration’s behalf. They didn’t and China retaliated by arresting not one, but two Canadians living in China and charged them with espionage. The U.S. backed down and in 2021 dropped the charges against Meng and the two Canadians were allowed to go home.
The entire affair encapsulated everything that is wrong with US/NATO foreign policy, from wishful thinking about dubious outcomes, such as believing they can diminish China’s economic prowess with a bizarre kidnapping effort, or that China would allow such an affront and not respond in kind.
But the biggest problem that Canada, the U.S. and other western nations have with China is that it is an economic powerhouse that isn’t run by white people. They don’t know that China was the richest country on earth during Europe’s Dark Ages. Perhaps they do know but modern white supremacy causes them not to care or to be even angrier and to behave as though their arrogance alone can change the course of history.
Justin Trudeau as an individual is certainly an adherent of this belief system. In 2019 photos emerged of Trudeau wearing black face on more than one occasion and when he was a grown man who should have known better. But the pampered and callow child of another prime minister and therefore of privilege, not only didn’t try to hide his racism but thought it was funny.
Now he is just another western mediocrity, joined at the hip with his American partners in crime. They may tell him to arrest a Chinese executive or declare Juan Guaido the president of Venezuela and he will go along. Canadians are on the same page after all, and even if they aren’t they will obey the hegemon.
Even after the damage done by the Meng Wanzhou affair and the embarrassing climb down, Trudeau thought he could violate protocol and leak information from an informal conversation. Trudeau and Biden and the other western leaders never leave their feelings of superiority behind, and the end result is dangerous behavior that may provoke a hot war. But this group is made up of arrogant and stupid people who believe that wishful thinking will turn back the clock and get them what they want, namely the return of a unipolar world with them at the top. They live in unreality and think there will be no consequences for their actions.
Trudeau thought that the same man who snatched up two Canadians to teach him a lesson wouldn’t pay attention when protocol was breached. He found out otherwise when Xi confronted him publicly and said through an interpreter, “Everything we discussed has been leaked to the papers. That is not appropriate. And that’s not the way the conversation was conducted.”
Trudeau was taken by surprise and engaged in platitudes “about free and open dialogue” but he walked away looking stunned.
They still don’t get it. China is on the verge of becoming the world’s leading economy and Biden thinking that he can destroy their microchip industry or send American politicians to Taiwan won’t change that fact. Every action they take to hurt China only hurts themselves. Their foolish gambit in Ukraine brought China and Russia closer together and led other nations into their orbit and away from the western nations. The poles have shifted whether Biden or Trudeau or their friends like it or not.
The US/NATO axis behaves as hegemon and their vassals always do. They cannot do otherwise and that is why they are so much more dangerous than the countries they vilify.
-Margaret Kimberley is the author of Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents.