Zhao Wei: Canada expels Chinese diplomat after allegations of foreign influence



CNN

Canada on Monday expelled a Chinese diplomat after allegations that Beijing tried to intimidate a Canadian politician and interfere in the country’s elections, in a move that raises tensions between the two countries.

Canada has declared Toronto-based diplomat Zhao Wei “persona non grata,” Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie said in a statement on Monday.

I have been clear: We will not tolerate any form of foreign interference in our internal affairs. Diplomats in Canada have been warned that if they engage in this type of behavior they will be sent back to their country.”

The news follows Public pressure mounting The Canadian government must respond after revelations by the Canadian Security Intelligence Agency that a Chinese diplomat accredited to the country targeted opposition MP Michael Chong and his relatives in China, after he sponsored a motion condemning China’s treatment of the Muslim Uyghur minority.

The intelligence service has also reportedly stated that Beijing attempted to influence the outcome of Canadian federal elections in 2019 and 2021.

Beijing has repeatedly denied accusations of political interference in Canada. A statement from the Chinese Embassy in Canada on Monday called the allegations of political interference “baseless” and warned of “consequences”.

China will resolutely take countermeasures, and Canada will bear all the consequences,” the Chinese Embassy in Canada said in a statement.

The statement added that this step “deliberately undermines the Sino-Canadian relations.”

The allegations became a growing political problem for the government Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeauwho said intelligence services failed to brief him on Chung’s alleged targeting.

Last week, Canada’s foreign ministry said it had recalled the Chinese ambassador to Canada, Kong Peiwu, announcing the recall on Thursday and that it was considering retaliatory measures over the allegations.

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Chung, who represents Wellington-Halton Hills County in Ontario, has repeatedly called for Zhao’s firing since the media report of the Chinese actions surfaced.

The lawmaker has focused much of his criticism on the Trudeau government, which he says has been too slow to act.

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