Canada expelling Chinese diplomat after threats to Conservative MP
Zhao Wei, a Chinese diplomat working in Toronto, was expelled from Canada on Monday after an intelligence assessment said he attempted to assassinate a politician critical of China’s treatment of its Uyghur Muslim minority.
Foreign intervention of any kind would not be tolerated, Melanie Joly, Canada’s foreign minister, warned on Monday.
The expulsion worsens already hostile Sino-Canadian relations and will probably lead to a response from China, which is Canada’s second-largest trading partner.
The expulsion was condemned by the Chinese embassy in Ottawa, which also informed the government that it had formally objected to the action.
In a statement published on the embassy’s website, a spokesperson said, “China will resolutely take countermeasures.”
Professor of international affairs at the University of Ottawa Roland Paris, a former foreign policy advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said that China would most likely retaliate by expelling a Canadian envoy.
spy service A study about Chinese influence in Canada was written in 2021 by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), and it contained information about possible threats to Conservative Member of Parliament Michael Chong and his family.
After the announcement, Chong told reporters that the government’s decision shouldn’t have taken two years to reach.
China has said that it has never meddled in Canadian internal issues and that it has no desire to do so. The general consulate of China in Toronto stated that the report regarding Chong “has no factual basis and is purely baseless.”
Details of the CSIS study were made public on May 1 when the Canadian Globe and Mail reported that China had inquired about Chong and his family in China, perhaps in an effort to “make an example” of him and discourage others from holding anti-Chinese government positions.
Zhao was involved in gathering material about Chong, according to The Globe, which cited an unnamed national security source. Chong had sponsored a successful motion in 2021 that referred to China’s treatment of its Uyghur Muslim minority as genocide.
When he read in a newspaper that his family might be in danger in Hong Kong, Chong claimed he was “profoundly disappointed” and criticised the Trudeau administration for its inactivity. Since the Globe article, he has frequently demanded Zhao’s expulsion.
According to Trudeau, he learned about the intelligence.