tirsdag 9. mai 2023

Canada to expel Chinese diplomat following allegations of foreign influence

Canada on Monday expelled a Chinese diplomat following allegations 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 declared Toronto-based diplomat Zhao Wei “persona non grata,” its Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said in a statement 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 behaviour, they will be sent home,” she said.

The news follows mounting public pressure on the Canadian government to respond following revelations the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) found an accredited Chinese diplomat in the country had taken efforts toward targeting opposition lawmaker Michael Chong and relatives who may be China, after he sponsored a motion to condemn China’s treatment of its Uyghur Muslim minority group.

The intelligence was first reported by Canadian newspaper the Globe and Mail earlier this month and comes amid public uproar over allegations that China attempted to meddle in Canada’s 2019 and 2021 elections.