A few years ago, Canada arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou on behalf of the US and our agreements with that country. In retaliation, China arrested the two Michaels, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, two Canadians who were in China at the time. I thought it odd at the time that both men were named Michael but it is a common name and could just be a coincidence.
Now, we have found out that a Chinese diplomat, Zhao Wei, had been allegedly gathering information to target Canadian Conservative MP Michael Chong’s family back in China. Zhao Wei has been expelled but one of China’s motives are clear. They don’t like Canadian Michaels.
Perhaps it’s because they know this will receive press in China. By targeting Michaels, it is an attempt to make us look like a political backwater, where all our people are named Michael. Like the bumpkins on the Newhart show in the eighties. “I’m Larry and this is my brother Darryl and my other brother Darryl.”
But maybe, just maybe, China feels put upon by one of our famous Michaels.
The two Michaels that comes to mind right away to me, are Michael J. Fox and Mike Myers. Lately Hollywood has been taken to task for the lack of representation. Indeed I can’t think of a film where Michael J. Fox had Chinese costars and I can think of just one for Mike Myers – Tia Carrere.
Even Tia Carrere is only partially Chinese. She has Filipina and Spanish roots, too. Anyhow, she played Michael Myers love interest in Wayne’s World. Perhaps this would have been okay if Micheal Myers’ career stopped there.
But he kept having love interests in later movies. The Austin Powers movies, the Shrek movies, etc.
I think the Chinese government wants the world to think, once you go Chinese, you never go back. Maybe, just maybe it’s not just a relationship slogan. They might want to have it so once you make a deal with China you never go back.
Especially at this juncture when the west is eroding Chinese successes Huawei and TikTok. As well, the west is not manufacturing everything they use in China anymore. The west wants other options. China, indeed, wants a world where once you go Chinese, you never go back.