Canada expels China diplomat for alleged threats to lawmaker -
Canada expels China diplomat for alleged threats to lawmaker
Posted 09 May 2023 12:16 PM

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government is expelling a Chinese diplomat whom Canada's spy agency alleged was involved in a plot to intimidate an opposition lawmaker and his relatives in Hong Kong. A senior government official said Toronto-based diplomat Zhao Wei has five days to leave the country. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. It wasn't immediately clear if he's left yet. Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said in a statement that Canada declared Toronto-based diplomat Zhao Wei “persona non grata”. “We will not tolerate any form of foreign interference in our internal affairs,” she wrote. “Diplomats in Canada have been warned that if they engage in this type of behaviour, they will be sent home.” Canada's spy service indicated that in 2021 opposition Conservative lawmaker Michael Chong and his Hong Kong relatives were targeted after Chong criticized Beijing's human rights record. Canada's spy agency has not released details publicly. Chong has been critical of Beijing's treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China's Xinjiang province. It became public after a Globe and Mail report last week. Chong said he learned about it from that report and Trudeau denied knowing about it earlier. “This should have happened years ago,” Chong said on Monday. “I hope that this makes it clear not just to the People's Republic of China, but other authoritarian states who have representation here in Canada, that this crossing the line of diplomacy into foreign interference threat activities is utterly unacceptable here on Canadian soil.”

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