Amid the deployment of thousands of troops in harsh winter conditions to fight a possible war in Ladakh, the report of Canada agreeing to provide military training in cold weather to China’s People Liberation Army (PLA) has sparked questions over the historical ties between Ottawa and New Delhi. Senior Indian diplomat and former spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs Vishnu Prakash has termed the development as serious amid deteriorating bilateral relations with Canada.
The statement has come after Rebel News reported that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invited China’s PLA to send its troops for cold-weather training at CFB Petawawa in Ontario. The newspaper, which accessed the document under the right to information from the government, reported that Trudeau raged at the Canadian Armed Forces for cancelling the training after China allegedly kidnapped Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig.
“If true, it is indeed a very serious development. Because while ostensibly, China and Canada have been at odds with each other, the possibility that behind the scenes, the Canadian system was planning to assist China to enhance their capabilities in winter warfare is a matter of concern,” Vishnu Prakash told Sputnik.
The United States has raised concerns that the joint military exercises could benefit the PLA, according to the documents.
The report claimed that Ian Shugart, who is considered to be Trudeau's right-hand man, was tasked with silencing the Canadian Armed Forces’ legitimate concerns about China. The document indicates that the Trudeau government continues acting as if China, not the US, was Canada's most important ally.
Nevertheless, Canada has been providing its barren land in harsh cold weather regions to conduct war drills to countries like the UK on a commercial basis. “Providing space for war drills in harsh weather conditions is not new for Canada. It gives its land to other countries on a commercial basis,” Major General Ravi Kumar Arora told Sputnik.
Recently, relations between India and Canada have deteriorated over several issues, including Trudeau’s remarks expressing concern over the ongoing farmer agitation in India. India summoned Canadian High Commissioner to New Delhi Nadir Patel on 4 December and said that “Such actions (remark), if continued, would have a seriously damaging impact on ties between India and Canada.”