By now, it has become an undeniable pattern. Those who turn to Washington for help against China have either come up short, or worse. Canada, the Hong Kong opposition and the independence-leaning government of Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan – all have ended with the short end of the stick. When will people ever learn? Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came to power partly by promising improved commercial and economic relations with China. Instead, thanks to an extradition request for the arrest of Huawei’s No 2, Meng Wanzhou, relations between the two countries have plunged to their lowest point in decades, perhaps ever. Two Canadians have been detained on the mainland, widely assumed to be in retaliation for Meng’s arrest, while Chinese trade restrictions have cost Canadian farmers hundreds of millions. Given the fact that Canada suffers terribly by honouring its extradition treaty obligations with the United States, you would expect Washington to pull out all the stops to help a faithful ally. Instead, President Donald Trump has publicly insulted and humiliated Trudeau, and made legally compromising statements about Meng’s case. When Trudeau suggested, not unreasonably, that the US should link the outcome of its trade deal with China to the release of the two Canadians, he didn’t even get a hearing at the White House. In future, the law enforcement agents of American allies may want to show up late whenever Washington makes an extradition request against a suspect. As part of its latest anti-China campaign, Washington has been pressuring the World Health Organisation to accept Taiwan as an observer, a status it enjoyed between 2009 and 2016 when Ma Ying-jeou of the mainland-friendly Kuomintang was president. Meng Wanzhou extradition case set to continue until 2021 Then without warning, the White House announced it was not only cutting funding to the WHO, but quitting as a member state. It has thereby effectively removed any influence it might have had to help Taiwan gain observer status. Hong Kong people have been shocked to learn that Washington plans to revoke the city’s special trade privileges as a separate customs entity, which may mean facing the same tariffs and sanctions as the mainland. The move involves new US legislation that was widely supported and promoted by the pan-democratic opposition in Hong Kong. Now, it has backfired on them. If you want to work against China but can’t trust the US, the world is a lonely and dangerous place.