An ill tempered Chinese President Xi Jinping reprimanded on Wednesday Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau allegedly over media leaks of the two leaders' meeting, during an encounter on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia.
The Chinese leader's heated outburst is rare, as his media appearances are normally heavily controlled and orchestrated. But in a video broadcast by Canadian media and widely circulated on social media, Xi is seen accusing Trudeau of sharing with the media an allegedly inaccurate account of their earlier encounter.
PM @JustinTrudeau: Disagrees with Xi JinPing on style media censorship— Jaro Giesbrecht (@JaroGiesbrecht) November 16, 2022
We believe in free, open & frank dialogue & that is what we will continue to have. We will continue to look to work constructively together, but there will be things we will disagree on & we will have to. pic.twitter.com/MJ79bVe5MH
The stand-off comes amid heightened tensions between the two countries. On Monday, Canadian authorities arrested and employee of Hydro-Quebec and charged him with espionage for allegedly trying to steal trade secrets and sending them to China.
The released video capturing the encounter shows Xi and Trudeau in close proximity in what appears to be the G20 venue. An interpreter is seen between the two men.
Everything we discussed has been leaked to the paper; that's not appropriate,'' the interpreter is heard saying, translating Xi's words. And that's not... the way the conversation was conducted, if there is sincerity on your part…''
Trudeau then interrupts the interpreter mid-sentence, saying: In Canada, we believe in free and open and frank dialogue and that is what we will continue to have. We will continue to look to work constructively together, but there will be things we will disagree on.''
Let's create the conditions first,'' Xi responded through the interpreter, shaking Trudeau's hand before taking his leave.
Canada never released an official readout from Xi and Trudeau's meeting, which lasted for about 10 minutes in Bali on Tuesday. China's Foreign Ministry and state media similarly refrained from publishing anything concerning the informal talks.
However, Trudeau addressed the confrontation in a press conference later, saying: Not every conversation is always going to be easy, but it's extremely important that we continue to stand up for the things that are important for Canadians.
Topics brought up at the one-to-one included Russia's invasion of Ukraine, North Korea and climate change, a Canadian government official revealed. Trudeau also reportedly raised the serious concerns around interference activities in Canada
Guy Saint-Jacques, a former Canadian ambassador to China, mentioned that Xi's behavior was unusual, though he believed that the tirade was purposefully done in front of the camera.