China has formally charged Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor on spurious espionage-related charges. Managing Director Brian Lee Crowley was on CTV news to discuss the charges against Kovrig and Spavor and what this means for Canada moving forward.
"What the Chinese regime is signalling to us is that they're an untrustworthy partner," says Crowley. "That they will not respect any rules including any promises that they have made to us, and that we need to seek to work with our allies in order to bring about a pressure campaign to get China to behave according to the international rules and rule of law."
Crowley goes on to warn that engaging in a prisoner swap would result in an emboldened China. Such a move would set the precedent for China and other regimes that hostage diplomacy is an effective political pressure strategy against Canada.
"In terms of an 'exchange of prisoners'... that would simply be a recognition of the fact that any country that doesn't like Canada's policy simply has to kidnap a couple of its citizens and threaten them in order for Canada to abandon its policy."