China expels Canadian diplomat in retaliation

OTTAWA (Reuters) – China on Tuesday moved to expel a Canadian diplomat from Shanghai after escalating tensions amid concerns about China’s influence in Canada.

Canada expelled Chinese diplomat Zhao Wei on Monday as an intelligence report accused him of trying to target a Canadian lawmaker critical of China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims. bottom.

Canada’s Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie said that “we will not tolerate any form of foreign interference”.

In response to Canada’s “irrational behavior,” China has instructed Consul Jennifer Lin Lalonde at the Canadian Consulate General in Shanghai to leave China by May 13, according to China’s Foreign Ministry. statement.

China reserves the right to respond further, the foreign ministry added.

“In response to Canada’s unreasonable provocation, China has taken corresponding retaliatory measures,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular news briefing. “This was completely justified and necessary. We urge Canada to immediately stop its unjustifiable provocations.”

Wang added that if Canada did not heed Beijing’s warnings and continued “reckless behavior”, China would “resolutely and forcefully counterattack, and the Canadian side should bear all the consequences.”

Diplomatic tensions have risen since the 2018 detention of Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou, followed by Beijing’s arrest of two Canadians on espionage charges. All three were released in 2021.

Last year, Beijing lifted a three-year ban on imports of canola, Canada’s biggest crop, from trading companies Richardson International and Viterra. The restrictions followed Meng’s arrest, but China raised concerns about pests. China is also a major importer of Canadian potash and wheat.

July 21, 2022, this illustration features the flags of China and Canada. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

The spy agency Canadian Security Intelligence Agency (CSIS) has produced a report on China’s influence in Canada in 2021. The report contained information about a potential threat to Conservative MP Michael His Chung and his family.

The details of the CSIS report were revealed on May 1st in Canada. The Globe and Mail reported China asked for information about Chung and his family in China in order to “set an example” for him and to deter others from taking an anti-Chinese government stance.

“It should have taken less than two years for the government to make this decision,” Chong told reporters after the announcement.

China said it has never interfered Involved in Canadian internal affairs and has no interest in doing so. China’s consulate general in Toronto said the report about Mr. Chong was “not factually based and completely baseless.”

The Grove, citing an unnamed national security source, said Cho was involved in gathering information on Chung.

Mr Chung said he was “very disappointed” to learn in the newspaper that his family in Hong Kong might be threatened, criticizing the Trudeau government’s negligence. He has repeatedly called for Zhao’s expulsion since Grove’s report.

Trudeau said he learned about intelligence reports from newspapers on Wednesday. accused the spy agency Because I didn’t give it to him at the time.

Agencies are now directed to immediately communicate information regarding threats to members of Congress and their families.

Canadian news outlets, citing unnamed sources, have released several reports alleging plans carried out by the Chinese government to interfere in Canada’s last two elections. Beijing denies these claims.

Prime Minister Trudeau said China tried to interfere in the 2019 and 2021 votes, but the result did not change.hello Independent Special Agent Investigate allegations.

Reported by Steve Scherer, Ottawa.Edited by Rami Ayyub

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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