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PM departs for G20 summit in Japan with hopes of cooling Canada's tensions with China

Last Updated Jun 26, 2019 at 8:05 am PDT

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference on the roof of the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C., Thursday, June 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Growing dispute between Canada, China will take centre stage when Trudeau arrives in Japan for G20 summit

Chinese government has ramped up the dispute by halting Canadian meat exports

As of Tuesday morning, Trudeau did not have a scheduled meeting with China's president

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The prime minister’s plane has taken off for Japan, as Justin Trudeau heads to the G20 summit.

The ongoing diplomatic and trade standoff with China will be in clear focus, as the Chinese government ramps up the dispute by halting Canadian meat exports.

As of yet, the Chinese president has not scheduled a meeting with Trudeau, however, he has with U.S. President Donald Trump, who has committed to raising the topic of the dispute between Ottawa and Beijing during his meeting.

Shannon Proudfoot with Maclean’s admits she’s not sure how seriously he’ll go to bat for Canada.

“President Trump is President Trump. It’s really hard to, sort of, see a coherent kind of strategic commitment to this coming from him.”

Trudeau will also use the meeting to get other world leaders to help ramp up the pressure on China to release two Canadians — Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.

Proudfoot says the ongoing efforts appear to be having an impact.

“It does look like the continuing lining up of international pressure bothers China,” she explains. “Whether that has the desire to affect, I don’t know.”

Along with the detentions of Kovrig and Spavor, China has also barred shipments of Canadian canola, peas and soybeans — and now, most recently, meat — all in apparent retaliation for the arrest of Chinese telecom executive Meng Wanzhou.

The Huawei chief financial officers was arrested at Vancouver International Airport in December at the request of the Americans.