Canada Planned Military Training with China Near US Border, Docs Show
Trudeau invited Chinese troops to learn winter warfare tactics at the Canadian Forces Base
The Canadian Armed Forces planned military exercises with the Chinese People's Liberation Army, including "winter survival training" at Ontario military base bordering the United States, documents have revealed.
But the plans were canceled by Canada's chief of defense staff, which in turn received pushback from the country's Global Affairs department.
The GAD voiced concerns that the cancellation would damage relations between Ottawa and Beijing.
The founder of Rebel News, Ezra Levant, tweeted Wednesday:
"The biggest scoop I've ever had in my life."
"Trudeau invited Chinese troops to learn winter warfare tactics at the Canadian Forces Base [Garrison Petawawa]."
The biggest scoop I’ve ever had in my life. Trudeau invited Chinese troops to learn winter warfare tactics at the Canadian Forces Base @GarrisonPet. 34 unredacted pages of cowardice and appeasement towards China, hostility towards America. https://t.co/rApCpYPh5E— Ezra Levant 🍁 (@ezralevant) December 9, 2020
"34 unredacted pages of cowardice and appeasement towards China, hostility towards America."
Garrison Petawawa is located in Ontario, which is right next to the borders of the U.S. states of New York, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
The documents can be viewed at thechinafiles.com.
The Canadian government provided the records in response to a request from Rebel News after it sought to corroborate "a Russian report that Canada had sent a delegation to China for the 70th-anniversary celebrations for the [People's Liberation Army] Navy."
This came just months after two Canadians were arrested in China amid the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is accused by the U.S of conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions against Iran.
The documents show details of several engagements set for 2019 that had been "potentially paused," which included winter training in Ontario, meetings between Canadian and Chinese officers on military education, and defense coordination at the "1-star or 2-star level" on Canadian soil.
The documents are marked "SECRET//CANADIAN EYES ONLY."
The documents were also viewed by Canada's newspapers, The Globe and Mail, which noted Canada's Global Affairs department objecting to the scaling back of such exercises with China's military.
The outlet reported, "The United States had raised concerns about joint military exercises that could benefit the PLA."
The outlet also pointed to a Feb. 2019 memo sent by the Canadian deputy minister of foreign affairs, Ian Shugart.
Shugart wrote to Canada's deputy minister of defense:
"Should Canada make any significant reductions in its military engagement with China, China will likely read this as a retaliatory move related to the Meng Wanzhou case."
Following Wanzhou's arrest, the two Canadians arrested in China are Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor
A third Canadian, Robert Schellenberg, who has been held in China since 2014 on allegations of drug smuggling, was sentenced to death following the arrests.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted the same day the documents were revealed:
"For the past two years, we've been working tirelessly to secure the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor - and we'll continue to do so until they're safe at home. We'll keep standing up for them and standing with their families."
For the past two years, we’ve been working tirelessly to secure the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor - and we‘ll continue to do so until they’re safe at home. We’ll keep standing up for them and standing with their families. https://t.co/Gb076K8BAs— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) December 9, 2020
Canada's Conservative (opposition party) foreign affairs minister Michael Chong and defense minister Jame Bezan both released a joint statement in response to the documents.
"Documents revealed today demonstrate that Global Affairs Canada and National Defence are not coordinated in Canada's policy toward China and were at odds with each other over the terms of engagement between the Canadian Armed Forces and the People's Liberation Army."
"Furthermore, despite the fact that China has kidnapped our citizens, punished our farmers and threatened Canadians in Hong Kong, the Liberal government is willing to jeopardize our Five Eyes intelligence alliance to avoid offending the communist regime in Beijing."
Chong and Bezan concluded:
"Enough is enough. Canada needs a government that is willing to stand up to China and for our values of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law."
"Instead of spurning the advice of our allies, it is time to listen and to ensure that Canada stands on the right side of history."