Some fear for tourism as Huawei arrest strains Canada-China relations
After the arrest of 1 of China’s top telecommunications executives in Canada, some come to mind about harm to both countries’ tourism connections.
Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Chinese technology giant Huawei, was arrested in Vancouver on Dec. 1 on suspicion of fraud involving violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran. American prosecutors are fighting on her behalf extradition from Canada.
The arrest has resulted in increased tensions between China and Canada and some are fearing Beijing could target tourism.
Winfred Gatsi, marketing manager with Arctic Tours in Yellowknife, says a large number of Chinese tourists every year to start to see the northern lights happen to be Canada.
“Our priority is for Canada at this time as the Chinese market is contributing a whole lot to your economy,” Gatsi said.
He says tourists from China constitute 50 % of his business, and he fears the national country could punish Canada by restricting travel.
Canadian tourists ought to be OK
Former diplomat Hugh Stephens, with the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada now, says for some Canadian tourists, happen to be China must not be a problem.
But those doing work for non-governmental organizations should reconsider, Stephens said.
Earlier, the Canadian government confirmed former diplomat Michael Kovrig was arrested and detained in China without explanation.
Kovrig was located in Hong Kong being an adviser with the International Crisis Group, a think tank “focused on preventing and resolving deadly conflict,” in accordance with its website.
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“EASILY would China in a capacity with a [non-governmental organization] I would want to have a check up on that, verify the status of my NGO in China, make certain everything is above board,” Stephens said. “Why take unnecessary risks at this stage?”
Stephens says he hopes there is no further increase in the diplomatic battle, that could hurt interests both in Canada and China.
“I’d certainly hope this is simply not likely to destabilize tourism, study or other business relationships,” he said.
Chinese students studying in Canada, along with tourists visiting this country are both vital that you Canada financially.
Human rights a sore point
Louis Huang agrees that for tourists, has changed but added anyone agitating for political freedoms little, Tibet independence or religious rights could result in trouble should they head to China.
His group, Vancouver Chinese Human Rights Watch, advocates for democracy and freedom for the People’s Republic.
Standing before a Richmond, B.C. bus shelter ad, which the group there paid to be placed, Huang said that power in China is ruthless and arbitrary.
Meng Wanzhou has gone out on bail — but could possibly be in legal limbo for years
“They don’t really have the rule of law. They discuss human rights always, but people cannot exercise their rights,” he said.
“The Chinese government isn’t predictable. They are able to do anything without thinking about the statutory law, without thinking about human rights.”
With files from Greg Rasmussen