Canada's anti-China policies and moves will boomerang
The shocking discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children－students of Canada's largest residential school near the city of Kamloops in southern British Columbia－in May sparked outrage throughout Canada and evoked calls for further searches of unmarked graves.
More unmarked gravesites have been found since then, thanks to the investigations by Canada's First Nations into the deaths of residential school students. The rising numbers of such graves－more than 1,100 till mid-July－have triggered a national reckoning over Canada's legacy of residential schools. These government-funded, often Catholic church-run, boarding schools were part of the country's policy to try and assimilate Indigenous children into the "mainstream", which incidentally destroyed Indigenous cultures and languages.
The unmarked graves are a painful reminder of the plight of the Indigenous people and racist past of Canada. The killings of innumerable Indigenous people, including children, by the white colonizers drastically reduced the number of Indigenous communities－from more than 10 million to about 500,000.
However, some Canadian politicians who should have apologized for the atrocities committed against the Indigenous people have turned a blind eye to the heinous crimes committed by the white settlers and instead are fabricating ridiculous stories about the so-called human rights violations in China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
The Canadian government's apathy toward the Indigenous people's plight reveals its true colors. And its attempt to interfere in China's internal affairs shows it can go to any extent to cover up its past crimes.
Such presumptuous allegations against China, however, are not new. Spreading false stories about forced labor in Xinjiang has been part of Western politicians' smear campaigns against China for some time now.
The Canadian government has been resorting to double standard and hatching sinister plots to defame China. It seems the United States has been using the Canadian government as a pawn in its trade and diplomatic disputes with China.
China-Canada relations have deteriorated due to Ottawa's hostility against Beijing. In fact, Canada has joined some other Western countries in claiming forced labor is used in Xinjiang's cotton industry. The hypocrisy of some Canadian politicians has been exposed.
Devoid of any conscience and sense of justice and fairness, these politicians, thanks to their bloated ego, have developed a disproportionately greater sense of self-importance.
Such politicians are pushing Canada toward a dangerous path which is far removed from democracy, freedom and justice, which they ironically claim to represent.
In addition, the baseless accusations they have leveled against China will hurt Canada's trade sector including its highly lucrative lumber-exporting, mining and agricultural industries. China is a large market for oats and other agricultural products, as well as raw materials, but due to deteriorating bilateral relations, Canada cannot export these products to China, which could deal a severe blow to its export-oriented industries.
But rather than taking measures to correct its mistakes, the Justin Trudeau administration is looking for allies to confront China, and launch smear campaigns using the so-called human rights violations in Xinjiang as a pretext. Unmindful of the consequences, the Canadian government is shutting the door to reconciliation with China.
For years, Canadian politicians have sided with the US to vilify China on many issues. Even the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves of Indigenous children hasn't prompted Western politicians to question Canada on its past crimes or indulge in self-introspection. The Canadian politicians and their Western cohorts only know how to make a scapegoat out of China and cover their heinous colonial crimes.
In June, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sought to unite the G7 leaders to target China. The Five Eye intelligence alliance and other Western anti-China mechanisms are hell-bent on stigmatizing China and maintaining the West's supremacy in international relations. But their internal discord and inherent vulnerability, given their sordid past, will imperil their strategic and geopolitical policies.
Although the boomerang didn't originate in Canada, the country's evil designs will boomerang on it if it continues to target China instead of facing up to its past and correcting its mistakes.
The author is a researcher at the National Academy of Development and Strategy and a professor at the School of International Studies, Renmin University of China.