October 16, 2020

Washington, DC – Canada’s strong reaction to Beijing’s ominous threat to Canadians in Hong Kong is commendable and should be applauded, HFX said in a statement today. 

“Canada has demonstrated incredible patience with regard to China’s behavior,” Peter Van Praagh, HFX President said.  “It is right and appropriate that Prime Minister Trudeau and Ministers Sajjan and Champagne’s patience with China have come to an end. Mr. Trudeau is absolutely correct to describe China’s approach as ‘coercive diplomacy’.”

China’s ambassador to Canada threatened “the health and safety” of 300,000 Canadians living in Hong Kong if Canada continued to offer asylum to refugees fleeing Hong Kong as a result of the PRC’s imposition of its National Security Law.

HFX further applauds the actions taken by the Government of Canada to end its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and restrict sensitive exports to the territory, as well as Ottawa’s denunciation of the National Security Law. 

Following Canada’s actions, HFX calls upon democratic governments to stand with the freedom-loving people of Hong Kong and to offer material and moral support, including welcoming them into their free societies.

HFX, along with the Canadian Government, demands the immediate release of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, who have been unjustly arrested and jailed, largely in isolation, since December of 2018, in a blatant violation of their human rights.

“Such brazen attempts at intimidating a democratic government and its society reveals the predatory and aggressive nature of the Chinese Communist Party,” Van Praagh said.  “Such statements show the nature of the Chinese threat to democratic societies around the world.  This is why HFX will release the world’s first ‘Handbook’ for Democracies revealing the full scope of the challenge coming from Beijing, along with the HFX China Principles that will help guide the democracies in their crucial cooperation at this year’s Halifax International Security Forum.”

The 2020 Halifax International Security Forum will take place November 20-22 in a virtual/in-person hybrid format. HFX is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Washington, DC. 

— 30 —

For media inquiries please contact:

Robin MacLachlan, Communications Manager

Halifax International Security Forum

+1 (613) 294-6128


Please direct other inquiries to info@halifaxtheforum.org