Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau received a public dressing down by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who accused him of leaking their personal correspondence to the press. The confrontation occurred at the ongoing Group of 20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.
In a rare display of anger, Xi confronted Trudeau and accused him of leaking details of a private conversation between the two leaders and misrepresenting their conversation.
“Everything we discussed was leaked to the newspapers. That’s not appropriate and that’s not the way our conversation was conducted, right?” Xi, whose remarks were translated, said to Trudeau.
“If you are being sincere, we must communicate with mutual respect,” added Xi, who warned him that his refusal to adhere to social norms would have repercussions.
“If not, I’m not sure how it will turn out,” Xi warned the Canadian leader.
Trudeau attempted to save face by cutting off the translator before he could finish translating Xi’s warning and replied, “In Canada, we believe in free and open and frank dialogue, and that is what we will continue to have. We will continue to look to work constructively together, but there will be things we will disagree on.”
“Let’s create the conditions first,” said Xi before shaking Trudeau’s hand and turning away, dismissing Trudeau’s attempt to gaslight him.
According to the National Post, which cited a government source, Trudeau approached Xi to raise “serious concerns” over allegations that China is interfering in Canadian domestic affairs.