Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a brief chat on the sidelines of the G-20 summit on November 15. After the informal talks, the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada released the contents of the dialogue, which outlined the topics discussed and the parties raising those topics.
But then, the two met again in a public place in Bali and this exchange was recorded by the media.
The next day, a video of Xi “criticizing” Trudeau was posted by the Chinese side. According to Aboluowang, Leonard, an internet celebrity specializing in analyzing the political situation in the Taiwan Strait, carefully studied this video and found that the content of Trudeau’s reply was actually quite vehement, but its Chinese translation was omitted.
Xi accused Trudeau of leaking the content of their discussion, and also claimed that what the media reported was not an accurate reflection of their conversation. Then he went on to say, “We should have conversations in a respectful way, otherwise, the result can’t be predicted.”
In fact, when Xi was halfway through, Trudeau said (at 0:51): “In Canada, we believe in free and open and frank dialogue, and that is what we’ll continue to have and we will continue to look and work constructively together, but there will be things that we will disagree on and you will have to continue that.” With this dialogue from Trudeau, Leonard translated, saying that Trudeau is trying to show that media obscurity can only happen in China, and that Canadians are liberal and democratic, whatever they do they openly admit it, this is a meaningful answer from Trudeau.
However, the interpreter did not translate all of what Trudeau said, but only translated: “Hopefully this is a free and open dialogue, somewhat constructive.” Trudeau wanted to say a few more things, but Xi interrupted and said (at 3:05): “Need to put conditions, need to put conditions, okay?” Then he shook his hand and left.
After watching the entire conversation, Leonard assumed that the interpreter only translated what Xi would like to hear so he could live happily in his world.
Set New quoted some netizens.
One netizen said, “Openly threatening, stupid. Does he think he’s in China and in a superior-subordinate relationship?”
Another gave an example: “This interpreter knows how to take leadership. Just like when our company’s employees give their opinion to the president, interpreters always report good news, not bad news, and only say what the superiors wanted to hear. Now, this interpreter is about to be promoted to manager.”
And another quote, “The people around him (Xi) only dare to say what he wants to hear. This is very dangerous.”
Xi Jinping rarely gets angry and blames Trudeau
Regarding the fact that Xi Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for disclosing the contents of the closed-door conversation and even expressing his displeasure. Experts and former Canadian diplomats say Xi’s move is not only surprising but also highlights his contempt and disrespect for Trudeau.
According to CBC News, Charles Burton, a senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, a Canadian policy research organization, and a former Canadian diplomat to China said, “He certainly wouldn’t speak like that to the U.S. president. So it does suggest that Mr. Xi has a degree of disdain for the prime minister and does not see Canada as an important partner.”
Burton said he found Xi’s language to be “quite dismissive and threatening,” indicating that any illusions the government has that the CCP respects Canada as an influential nation in the world have long since disappeared.
Burton told CBC News, “I just think in general, it was very unpleasant. I found it highly offensive on the part of his [Xi’s] intent.”
He went on, “We have not seen the president of China engaging in this really quite undiplomatic, rough language with a counterpart leader of another country.”
According to Taiwan’s Central News Agency, Lynette Ong, professor of political science at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy at the University of Toronto in Canada, said that Xi is always soft-spoken and very cautious when speaking in public, and he knows this dialogue will be picked up by the media, which means he hopes that the content of this “rebuke” will be seen by the masses at home and abroad. Guy Saint-Jacques, who served as Canada’s ambassador to China from 2012 to 2016, said it was all pre-arranged and that Xi wanted to send a clear message to Trudeau as the cameras turned. Saint-Jacques also agreed that it was an implied threat, which is surprising, because Xi rarely engages in such behavior.