China should change how it speaks to journalists at press conferences, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday. The statement was made after visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi lashed out at a Canadian journalist after being asked about human rights issues in China.

“Canada has a very clear role to play as a country with a long and storied friendship with China to be able to say, ‘Look you need to change the way you speak to journalists’,” said Trudeau at the Canada Summit conference hosted by The Economist. “[China is] now creating concerns around the world amongst people who would perhaps be positively inclined towards the opportunities that China represents for economic growth,” the Canadian leader added.

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During a joint press conference last Wednesday, after greeting the Canadian Foreign Minister, Wang reacted strongly towards reporter Amanda Connolly after she questioned him about the detention of the missing Hong Kong booksellers and other Canadians in China.

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Wang Yi. Photo: Screenshots via CBC.

“Your question is full of prejudice towards China and arrogance, and I don’t know where that is coming from. It is totally unacceptable,” said Wang.

“Do you understand China? Have you been to China? Do you know that China had lifted more than 600 million people out of poverty? Do you know that China is now the second largest economy in the world?” the Chinese minister asked the journalist, calling her question “irresponsible”.

Gene Lin is a Journalism and Computer Science student at The University of Hong Kong. He worked as a reporter for the 'LIVE: Verified Updates' during the Occupy Central protests. He is also an editor at HKU's first English-language student paper, The Lion Post.