‘Top secret’ government documents have revealed that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invited China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to send its troops to Ontario for cold weather training and was unhappy when it was canceled, according to two Canadian media outlets.
The two outlets published excerpts from the files Wednesday, revealing that members of the PLA were scheduled to attend a military exercise at a base in Ontario in 2019.
According to the memos, the training was then canceled by Chief of Defense Staff Jonathan Vance due to concerns that China could use the trip to obtain information from Canada.
But Trudeau was displeased about the cancelation, because he thought it would look like retaliation over China’s detention of two Canadian nationals, and insisted Chinese officials be let down gently, the memos show.
Ezra Levant, founder of conservative news site Rebel News, claimed Thursday the PLA was sending spies not just soldiers to Canada through the partnership.
The plans for the joint military exercise came as tensions were boiling between the two nations, months after Canada arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzou and China hit back arresting Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig.
The release of the files comes on the two-year anniversary of Spavor and Kovrig’s arrests as the two remain behind bars in Beijing.