Xi Jinping's threatening rebuke of Justin Trudeau was a rare and surprising move by the Chinese president, and highlighted the disregard he has for the Canadian prime minister, according to some experts and former diplomats.
"He certainly wouldn't speak like that to the U.S. president. So it does suggest that Mr. Xi has a degree of disdain for the prime minister and does not see Canada as an important partner," said Charles Burton, senior fellow with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and a former diplomat to China.
Burton said he found the language used by Xi during his interaction with Trudeau at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, to be "quite dismissive and threatening," indicating that any illusions the government has that China respects Canada as an influential nation in the world have long since disappeared.
"I just think in general, it was very unpleasant. I found it highly offensive on the part of his intent," Burton said.
"We have not seen the president of China engaging in this really quite undiplomatic, rough language with a counterpart leader of another country"
Trudeau and Xi spoke face to face briefly on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali on Tuesday. After the unofficial meeting, the Prime Minister's Office issued a readout of the conversation noting the topics that were discussed and who raised them.
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