Following a tumultuous week in U.S.-Canadian-U.S.-China-U.S. relations – one which saw the firing of Canada’s top diplomat to the Asian nation for being inconveniently honest (twice) without having received prior approval from Washington – the Trudeau government today expressed a keen interest in finding out who the Americans would like them to have on the next flight to Beijing.
The forced resignation of the Canadian ambassador to China, John McCallum, comes after the envoy ill-advisedly waded into the deep end of the debate over his country’s continued detention of a Huawei executive at the request of the Americans, outlining in clear terms that this obviously political manoeuvre was an obvious political manoeuvre; a clear violation of the first rule of international diplomacy: never say the true thing out loud.
With McCallum having effectively stated that the U.S. is using Canada to get at China, right in the middle of the U.S. using Canada to get at China, the Americans were left with no choice but to quietly tell their northern ally that the old chap with the big mouth needed to retire.
“John McCallum served Canada for almost two decades with distinction,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated, in a hastily adjourned news conference in Ottawa. “But when he said that dropping this extradition – which does feel a lot like a way to make Canadians suffer on behalf of American interests, I have to be honest – would be good for Canada, he crossed the line between saying what is true, and just thinking it. Which I might have also crossed right there. Allow me to rephrase: We look forward to the United States telling us who our next ambassador to China will be.”
“Well, I gotta think about it,” U.S. President Donald Trump admitted, pressed for comment on the matter in a late afternoon meeting with journalists. “Obviously that last guy they had was no great shakes at negotiating. That said, I’ve been a little off my own game lately. Hey,” the president said, brightening suddenly, “Do you think they’d agree to send Nancy Pelosi?”
Upon learning of the president’s response, members of Trudeau’s inner circle of advisors were heard to say something that has no doubt been repeated often in the inner sanctums of Canadian government over these last two years.
“What in Christ did we do to deserve this?”