“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 being sincere, we must communicate with mutual respect,” Xi added. “If not, I’m not so sure how it will turn out.”
Trudeau responded: “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.”
Xi was dismissive, saying “let’s create the conditions first,” before shaking the Canadian prime minister’s hand and turning away.
The interaction was recorded by journalists accompanying Trudeau and posted to Twitter by a reporter for CTV Nation News.
Xi and Trudeau met Tuesday on the sidelines of the G-20. After the meeting, a report in Canada’s National Post, citing a government source, said that Trudeau had raised “serious concerns” with Xi over allegations of Chinese interference in Canada’s domestic affairs. The Global News reported November 7 that Canadian intelligence officials suspect China of meddling in the country’s 2019 election.
Spokespeople for Trudeau didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
It was the first time Trudeau and Xi have met in more than three years, the National Post said. Ties between the countries soured after Canada detained Huawei Technologies Co. executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of the US in 2018. Soon after, Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were arrested in China and tried for spying.
The two men were released just after Meng was freed, even though Beijing denied a link between the episodes.