Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declares that Canada “will not be intimidated” after China expelled a Canadian diplomat on Tuesday in retaliation for Ottawa’s removal of a Beijing delegate.
Relations between the two countries have deteriorated as a result of allegations that the Chinese communist regime tried to interfere in Canadian elections and society, and on Monday, Ottawa declared Toronto-based diplomat Zhao Wei “persona non grata.”
The Globe and Mail reported last week that the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) had information in 2021 that Beijing was looking at ways to intimidate Conservative MP Michael Chong and his relatives in Hong Kong. This prompted calls for Zhao’s expulsion. The central government has affirmed that report.
“We took this decision very seriously and gave it a lot of thought in order to do the right thing and send the Chinese diplomat home. Trudeau stated on Tuesday, “We understand there will be retaliation, but we will not be intimidated and will continue to do everything necessary to protect our Canadians from foreign interference.”
China likewise guaranteed further undefined retaliatory measures because of the removal.
Trudeau stated, “These are things we considered, but we decided that we needed to move forward in a responsible way to send a very clear message that we will not accept foreign interference.” He added, “These are things that we considered.”
“We will not be intimidated, and moreover, we will ensure that China continues to see, along with other countries that are engaging in foreign interference, that we take this extraordinarily seriously,” the statement reads. “Regardless of whatever next choices they make, we will not be intimidated.”
China has denied the claims that it designated Chong after the MP casted a ballot in February 2021 for a movement in the Place of House denouncing China’s treatment of its Uyghur minority as a decimation.
The next month, China endorsed Chong, banishing him from entering the nation and forbidding Chinese residents from leading business with him. However, the CSIS document allegedly describes additional measures Beijing took to exert pressure on Chong, including the alleged targeting of his Hong Kong relatives.
The report likewise claimed China was focusing on many other Canadian MPs along these lines. These MPs’ identities have not been made public.
Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly stated on Monday that other Canadian diplomats had been warned that they would be sent home if they engaged in acts of foreign interference after Zhao was declared persona non grata—a foreign diplomat who is considered to be an unwelcome guest by the host nation.
Worldwide News investigated Sunday that Canada seems not to have ousted an unfamiliar negotiator starting around 2018.
Following the announcement on Monday, Chong told reporters in Ottawa, “It shouldn’t have taken this long.”
“It shouldn’t have taken the focusing of an individual from Parliament to settle on this choice. We have known for a long time that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is targeting Canadians and their families by employing its accredited diplomats in Canada.
China’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement on its English website on Tuesday stating that it “strongly condemns and firmly opposes” Canada’s “reciprocal countermeasure to Canada’s unscrupulous move.”
According to the statement, Jennifer Lynn Lalonde, consul general of Canada in Shanghai, has been requested to leave by May 13.
The allegations against Chong have increased the pressure on the Liberal government to explain how and when allegations of foreign interference are brought to the attention of senior officials and what Ottawa is doing to protect its national security from threats from abroad.
Because of this information, Trudeau instructed CSIS to notify the government of any threats made against any MP or their family, regardless of whether or not the threats were deemed credible.
Trudeau has been feeling the squeeze to arrange a public investigation into the charges of Chinese obstruction, yet rather tapped previous lead representative general David Johnston to settle on that decision as Ottawa’s exceptional rapporteur.
Johnston has until May 23 to conclude whether a public request is required, or whether an alternate sort of free interaction like a legal survey, would be more fitting.