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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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    In a tit-for-tat move, China expelled a Canadian diplomat.

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    In retribution for Ottawa’s decision to return a Chinese diplomat accused of attempting to intimidate a Canadian MP, China has expelled Canada’s consul in Shanghai.

    Canada designated Chinese envoy Zhao Wei “persona non grata” on Monday and ordered her to leave the country.

    In response, China demanded the deportation of Jennifer Lynn Lalonde, Canada’s diplomat in the Shanghai Consulate, on Tuesday.

    “China reserves the right to respond further,” the Chinese government said in a statement.

    Both diplomats have five days to leave their respective nations.

    Following claims of Chinese political intervention in Canada, the censures represent a substantial worsening in relations between Ottawa and Beijing.

    Canada summoned China’s ambassador last Thursday to reiterate that it would not accept intervention in its internal affairs.

    Canada summoned China’s ambassador last Thursday to reiterate that it would not accept intervention in its internal affairs.

    Mr Zhao was deemed a “persona non grata” by Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly on Monday, a Latin euphemism for a “unwelcome person.”

    China labeled the move “unscrupulous,” and Ms Lalonde agreed, calling it a “reciprocal countermeasure.”

    Ottawa’s action followed the publication of a Canadian intelligence report in the Globe and Mail newspaper, which accused Mr Zhao of being involved in gathering information about Mr Chong, 51, following his loud criticism of China’s treatment of its Uighur minority community.

    According to the report, Canada’s intelligence agency believes China collected information about Mr Chong’s relatives in Hong Kong in order to prevent “anti-China positions.”

    In 2021, the legislator introduced a motion in parliament calling China’s treatment of Uighurs genocide. China quickly refuted the charges and sanctioned Mr Chong.

    Ms. Joly stated on Monday that Canada “will not tolerate any form of foreign interference in our internal affairs,” and that the decision to expel the diplomat was made “after careful consideration of all factors at play.”

    Since then, Canada’s spy service has been directed to pass on information concerning threats to members of parliament and their families as soon as possible.

    “China strongly condemns and firmly opposes this, and has lodged serious démarches and a strong protest to Canada,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Tuesday.

    China accused Canada last week of “slander and defamation” over allegations that Beijing targeted Mr Chong and his family.

    Mr. Chong, a Conservative, has accused the Liberals of mishandling the situation and stated on Monday, “It shouldn’t have taken the government two years to make this decision.”

    The charges come on the heels of earlier intelligence files, released to Canadian media sources, accusing China of attempting to meddle in Canadian elections.

    In March, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the appointment of an independent special rapporteur to investigate the allegations of influence.

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