Since 1959, the Globe and Mail has had a presence in China. It was the first Western news organization to open a permanent office after the Communists won power. The latest correspondent to carry on that esteemed tradition is James Griffiths, who succeeds Nathan VanderKlippe as Asia correspondent and Beijing Bureau Chief.
Earlier this past week, Griffiths wrote a special introductory letter to Globe subscribers. We are sharing portions of it with you below.
“China’s impact on Canada, and the world, is being felt more than ever before, and at a time when relations between Beijing and Ottawa are plumbing new depths. Two Canadian citizens, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, remain in prison in China, jailed in retaliation for the detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. Allegations of widespread human rights abuses and the detention of hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang has attracted global condemnation, but also exposed a growing rift in the international community.
The coronavirus too has caused a split in global opinion. While Canada and other governments have called for an investigation into the pandemic’s origins, China has won support in the developing world through vaccine diplomacy and aid, even as the West argued over intellectual property protections.
I hope I will continue The Globe’s legacy on shining a light on China, at a time when understanding the country has never been more important for Canadians.”
– James Griffiths