Of course, as the CBC reports
The timing of the releases of Meng, and Spavor and Kovrig, show China clearly saw a connection between the two, several diplomats and foreign policy experts told CBC News.
“China … up until now, has said that there’s been no linkage between the two, but by putting them on the plane [Friday night], they’ve clearly acknowledged that this was hostage-taking,” said Colin Robertson, a former Canadian diplomat for more than 30 years.
But China’s claim of no linkage has always been a joke. Not in the sense of a naive but incredible claim of innocence, but rather as a deliberate mockery of the corresponding claim by Canada and the US.
That Meng was a hostage being taken as a bargaining chip was clearly implied by Donald Trump’s comments early in the game, and in some cruel sense China was right to respond with tit-for-tat (perhaps deliberately being more obvious about it while maintaining the ridiculous posture of denial). And to my mind, the only Canadian politician or diplomat with any dignity in all this is John McCallum who pointed out (just shortly after I did) that the extradition request was obviously tainted. This is especially sad given that cabinet actually had the power to legally override the treaty “obligation” without waiting for any judicial approval.
Perhaps it is time to add that the “justice” system in the US is no longer sufficiently credible to justify any continued extradition treaty at all, as it is riddled with prosecutorial malpractice including but not restricted to the use of plea bargains to extract tainted evidence and the extraction of false confessions by bullying and mental torture (Central Park Five, Aaron Swartz) and also their selective use, abuse and denial of the extradition process (Assange, Sacoolas).
Canada’s behaviour as a sycophantic slave to US demands is rightly seen by China as an indication that our claim to independent nationality following the “rule of law” is as much a farce as China’s claim that the Michaels were fairly convicted as spies.