Friday, May 12, 2023

Chinese diplomat is expelled from Canada due to suspected intimidation scheme

Canada expels Chinese diplomat over alleged intimidation plan

 OTTAWA: Ottawa reported Monday the removal of a Chinese representative blamed for having tried to scare a Canadian legislator condemning of Beijing, diving the two countries into another conciliatory line.

In a statement labeling the diplomat "persona non grata," Foreign Minister Melanie Joly stated, "We will not tolerate any form of foreign interference in our internal affairs."

She stated, "We remain firm in our resolve that defending our democracy is of the utmost importance," adding that Canadian foreign diplomats "have been warned that if they engage in this type of behavior, they will be sent home."

The move exasperated currently stressed Sino-Canadian relations, with China "unequivocally censuring" the choice it said depended on "baseless" allegations and promising repercussions.

In an explanation posted on its Ottawa consulate site, China said it had documented an authority fight over breaks of worldwide regulation and conciliatory standards, and blamed Canada for "purposely sabotaging relations" with its second biggest exchanging accomplice.

A person with knowledge of the situation says that Zhao Wei, the official at the Chinese consulate in Toronto who is at the center of this whole thing, has been told to leave Canada in five days.

His removal was the result of a protest led by parliamentarian Michael Chong over claims made by local media that China's intelligence agency planned to impose sanctions on Chong and his relatives in Hong Kong for voting for a motion in February 2021 that called Beijing's actions in the Xinjiang region genocide.

According to a Canadian Security Intelligence Service document that used the acronym "PRC" in its title, this was "almost certainly meant to make an example of this MP and deter others from taking anti-PRC positions."

After recent reports that Beijing was trying to influence Canada's 2019 and 2021 elections, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has come under increasing pressure to take a firm stance against Beijing.

His critics used the most recent allegations to further accuse him of being passive in the face of foreign interference.

Genevieve Tellier, a professor of politics at the University of Ottawa, stated, "There was a real political risk for the Trudeau government in this affair, which is taking a gamble by showing its muscles in this way."

Since Canada's arrest of a top Huawei executive in 2018 and the apparent detention of two Canadians in China as retaliation, relations between Beijing and Ottawa have been tense.

Although all three have been released, Beijing has continued to criticize Ottawa for adhering to Washington's China policy, and Canadian officials have frequently claimed that China is interfering with their affairs.

On Friday, Beijing decried Canada's "groundless slander and defamation" following the summons of China's ambassador regarding the most recent allegations of interference.

The scandal had been "hyped up by some Canadian politicians and media," according to the Chinese foreign ministry.

Chong told reporters in Ottawa on Monday: This (expulsion) decision shouldn't have been made after a member of Parliament was targeted.

He stated, "We have known for years that the PRC is targeting Canadians and their families here in Canada using its accredited diplomats."

He said Canada has turned into "a jungle gym for unfamiliar impedance," including the provocation of diaspora networks.

According to Roromme Chantal, a China specialist at the School of Advanced Public Studies in Moncton, Canada should anticipate "the expulsion of a Canadian diplomat if not several diplomats" as retaliation.

He added, "could also take economic reprisals, as a way of sending a message to other countries that are talking about interference," and Beijing "could also take economic reprisals."

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