torsdag 11. mai 2023

Canadian diplomat expelled from China in tit–for-tat measure

China on Tuesday expelled a Canadian diplomat in Shanghai, a day after Canada announced it would expel a Chinese diplomat over allegations he was involved in efforts to intimidate a Canadian politician. In a statement Tuesday, China’s Foreign Ministry said it strongly condemned the expulsion of Toronto-based diplomat Zhao Wei, and as “reciprocal countermeasure,” would declare Jennifer Lynn Lalonde, a consul of the Consulate General of Canada in Shanghai, persona non grata. Lalonde has been asked to leave China before May 13, according to the statement.

The tit-for-tat move marks a new low in a years-long deterioration of ties between the two countries and comes amid a period of rising concerns in Canada about Chinese influence, including public uproar over allegations that China attempted to meddle in Canada’s 2019 and 2021 elections.

Hours after Beijing announced it would expel Lalonde, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson at a regular briefing threatened that China would “resolutely and forcefully respond” if the Canadian government “keeps acting recklessly” and accused Canadian media and some politicians of “fabricating false information.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa on Tuesday that Canada would “not be intimidated” by Beijing’s reaction.