Beijing on Thursday accused Ottawa of worsening bilateral relations after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to stand up to China amid deepening diplomatic and trade disputes.
The two countries have been locked in a feud since last December, when Canada detained top Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou and — in apparent retaliation — China detained two Canadian nationals over espionage-linked accusations.
On Wednesday, Trudeau pushed back against Beijing in a speech that promised to “always defend Canadians and Canadian interests” and to not “back down”.
“At present, China-Canadian relations are facing serious difficulties,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.
“The responsibility lies entirely on the Canadian side,” he told reporters at a press briefing in Beijing.
“We urge the Canadian side to reflect on its mistakes,” Geng said, adding that Canada should “immediately” release Meng.
He also called on Canada to refrain from making “irresponsible remarks” about Hong Kong, which has been plunged into weeks of unrest by pro-democracy demonstrations.
Beijing had warned Canada on Sunday to stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs after Ottawa and the European Union issued a joint statement in support of protestors’ “fundamental right of assembly”.
Canadians are one of the largest expatriate groups in Hong Kong, numbering 300,000, according to Canadian government figures.
Relations between Canada and China tumbled over the arrest of Meng on a US extradition request related to alleged Iran sanctions.
Since then, China has arrested Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, while blocking billions of dollars in Canadian agricultural shipments.
Morning Joe drops a Rust Belt bomb on Trump now that impeachment is a reality
"Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough and Mike Brezinski kicked off Friday morning with bad news for Donald Trump about recent polling in the battleground Rust Belt states showing his re-election prospects crumbling even if he does survive impeachment ouster.
"You go through new Morning Consult Trump approval ratings, and it really shows how unpopular he is," host Scarborough began. "And in some of these states they show how impeachment is really either keeping him from gaining momentum with all the money he's wasting and it's not moving anything."
"Ohio, he's minus five," he explained. "Pennsylvania, minus seven, underwater. Iowa underwater, minus 13. Minnesota, underwater, minus 13. And the biggest two for last: Wisconsin, minus 14 and Michigan minus 14."
Amid impeachment turmoil, HBO OKs Watergate series
US cable channel HBO on Thursday green-lit the production of a new limited series based on the Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon, starring Woody Harrelson and Justin Theroux.
The two actors -- HBO veterans -- will also executive produce "The White House Plumbers," which is to be written by Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck, who scripted the network's award-winning comedy "Veep."
The announcement comes as Washington is again in the throes of an impeachment inquiry against US President Donald Trump, some 45 years after Nixon resigned to avoid a certain trial before US lawmakers.
Weak Arctic ice sees 56 polar bears descend on Russian village
More than 50 polar bears have gathered on the edge of a village in Russia's far north, environmentalists and residents said, as weak Arctic ice leaves them unable to roam.
The Russian branch of the World Wildlife Fund said climate change was to blame, as unusually warm temperatures prevented coastal ice from forming.
The WWF said 56 polar bears had gathered in a one-square-kilometer (0.4-square-mile) area near the village of Ryrkaipy in Chukotka on the northeastern tip of Russia.
There were concerns they could enter the village, home to fewer than 1,000 people, and patrols had been set up to monitor their movements.