Xi Confronts Trudeau Over Media Leaks in Heated Exchange Caught on Camera

(Bloomberg) — Chinese President Xi Jinping confronted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Group of 20 summit, accusing him of leaking details of a private meeting between the men — an unusually candid look at Xi’s interactions with world leaders. another.

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“Everything we discussed was leaked to the newspapers. That’s not appropriate and that’s not the way our conversation was conducted, right?” Xi told Trudeau through a translator. “If you are sincere, we must communicate with mutual respect.”

“If not, I’m not so sure how it will happen,” Xi said, in a line that the translator did not tell Trudeau.

Trudeau responded: “In Canada, we believe in free and open dialogue, and we always will. We will continue to look to work constructively together, but there will be things we disagree on.”

Xi was dismissive, saying “let’s create the conditions first,” before shaking the Canadian prime minister’s hand and turning away.

Journalists accompanying Trudeau recorded the interaction and a reporter for CTV National News posted it to Twitter.

Xi and Trudeau met on Tuesday on the sidelines of the G-20. After the meeting, a report in Canada’s National Post, citing a government source, said Trudeau raised “serious concerns” with Xi about allegations of Chinese interference in Canada’s domestic affairs. Global News reported on November 7 that Canadian intelligence officials suspect China of meddling in the country’s 2019 election.

“Canada has to be able to engage constructively and directly, and at the same time be there to challenge the human rights and values ​​that are important to Canada,” Trudeau told reporters later on Wednesday .

“Not every conversation will be easy,” the prime minister said.

It was the first time Trudeau and Xi met in more than three years. Ties between the countries increased after the Canadian executive of Huawei Technologies Co. Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the United States in 2018. Soon after, Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were arrested in China and tried for espionage.

Both men were released shortly after Meng was freed last year, although Beijing has denied any link between the incidents.

–With assistance from Lucille Liu and Sarah Zheng.

(Updates with details about the translation in the third article. Corrected an earlier version of CTV National News’ name in the sixth article.)

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