As U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sits down with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today, geopolitics watchers and at least one Hong Kong national are urging both leaders to speak with one voice in response to China's actions regarding the democratic protest movement in Hong Kong.
"The global protests are top of mind for virtually every country in the world," said Ben Rowswell, president of the Canadian International Council think tank. "And with a real risk of major bloodshed right now, we don't know what is going to happen, but at least one of the potential scenarios is that the Chinese army will suppress those protests."
Today's visit is Pompeo's first to Canada since taking on his current role. Pompeo will meet with both Trudeau and his Canadian counterpart, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.
At a news briefing Wednesday, the U.S. State Department told reporters in Washington the leaders are expected to discuss a range of issues, including the ongoing strife in Venezuela, the ratification of the new North American trade agreement and the detention of Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig in China.
Rowswell said he expects Canada will continue to pressure the U.S. to urge China to release those detainees. But given Canada's strong interest in keeping the situation in Hong Kong from getting any worse — 300,000 Canadian citizens live there — Rowswell said he also predicts Canada will encourage the U.S. to speak with it in "a single voice" on the situation in the former British colony.