Your Secrets Might Not Be Safe With Justin Trudeau!
China's President Xi Jinping, left, and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the G-20 Summit on June 29, 2019 in Osaka, Japan. (Kazuhiro Nogi - Pool/Getty Images)

Your Secrets Might Not Be Safe With Justin Trudeau!

Asharq Al-Awsat, London, November 16

The televised altercation between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the G-20 summit opens up a philosophical debate. The Chinese premier accused the Canadian prime minister of leaking the details of a private meeting that took place between the two men, in an exceptionally frank glimpse of Xi’s interactions with other world leaders. Xi was caught on video confronting Trudeau, saying, “It’s inappropriate and that’s not the way we agreed to have our conversation, is it?” Trudeau replied, “In Canada, we believe in free, open and frank dialogue, and this is what we will continue to do.” What we are witnessing is a collision between two worldviews; between one system of values and an opposing one; between East and West. There are many manifestations of this tension but let us focus on freedom of information and the right of the public to obtain information. According to the Western formulation of this concept, securing access to information is a duty owed to the individual by governments, and the text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, stipulates the individual’s right to expression and access to information. Most Western constitutions and laws guarantee this right, and there are countries that have established clear protocols for the disclosure of information, even if it is not requested, to the public. Over the past 50 years, the US Freedom of Information Act, has allowed Americans and others to request records on almost any topic from the federal government, and forced federal agencies to provide them. Of course, information classified as “confidential” is not disclosed. Indeed, US censorship laws provide that an entire century must pass for some of these records to be published. Indeed, according to the US State Department, in the past few years, the CIA has declassified documents related to World War I, including a document related to the components of secret ink. Yes, the Chinese system is an opaque and centralized system of government that glorifies one single individual and concentrates knowledge, information, and power within his own hands. But is there a middle ground? A policy that falls somewhere between China’s withholding of information and Canada’s complete disclosure of it? Finding that balance is, perhaps, our most important task. –Meshary Al-Dhaidi (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

Give the Gift of Truth This Jewish New Year

The Media Line has been leading for more than twenty years in pioneering the American independent news agency in the Middle East, arguably the first in the region. We have always stayed true to our mission: to provide you with contextual sourced and trustworthy news. In an age of fake news masquerading as journalism, The Media Line plays a crucial role in providing fact-based news that deserves your support.

We're proud of the dozens of young students we've trained in our Press and Policy Student Program who will form the vanguard of the next generation of journalists to the benefit of countless millions of news readers.

Non-profit news needs public support. please help us with your generous contributions.
Donate
The Media Line
We thank our loyal readers and wish you all the happiest of holidays.

Invest in the
Trusted Mideast
News source.
We are on the
front lines.

Personalize Your News
Upgrade your experience by choosing the categories that matter most to you.
Click on the icon to add the category to your Personalize news
Browse Categories and Topics
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.