China accused Canada of “slander” after Ottawa withdrew its ambassador

HI Canadian Conservative MP Michael Chong and his family, who live in Hong Kong, were reportedly pressured over criticism he made of China’s history of human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region.

Lawmakers who opposed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week are demanding that the government be held accountable for the protests.

The Canadian Foreign Office on Thursday summoned the Chinese ambassador to discuss the intimidation allegations and may also opt to expel diplomats.

“Canada defames and defames the normal functioning of the Chinese embassy and consulates in Canada,” Mao Ning, a spokesman for China’s diplomacy, told a news conference.

“China is deeply dissatisfied and strongly opposes this kind of action,” he said.

Citing classified documents and unidentified sources, Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail stated that China’s intelligence services intimidated lawmakers after he voted in February 2021 to support a motion equalizing China’s treatment of members of ethnic minorities. a “genocide”.

The Uighurs, mainly Muslim, are the main ethnic group in Xinjiang (northwest of China), a region that has long been hit by bloody attacks that authorities have linked to Islamists and separatists. In the name of counter-terrorism, the Chinese authorities launched a massive campaign of repression in mid-2010. The United States spoke of “genocide” in Xinjiang. The UN suggested possible crimes against humanity.

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said on Thursday that the country was considering expelling the Chinese diplomat, and acknowledged that the ministry had summoned the Chinese ambassador for the meeting to stress that Canada would not tolerate such interference.

He said a report by Canadian intelligence services indicated that Michael Chong and members of his family in Hong Kong were targeted for intimidation after Chong criticized Beijing’s human rights record.

“We are evaluating different options, including expulsion of the diplomat,” Joly told a parliamentary committee.

Canada’s spy agency has not made the details public. Chong said the report identified a Toronto-based diplomat as part of the intimidation act.

“I can’t imagine the shock and concern to learn that your loved one has been the target of bullying,” Joly told Chong at the committee hearing. “There will be consequences,” he assures.

Chong said the diplomat should have been on the first flight from Canada.

“It is inexplicable that these diplomats have not been instructed to leave the country,” he said. “If we don’t take this action, we are basically putting up a giant banner for every authoritarian country in the world announcing that we are open to foreign interference targeting Canadian citizens. This is why this person should be fired,” he added. .

Chinese Ambassador Cong Peiwu denied interference in a statement and warned against expelling his diplomats.

“Once again, China strongly urges the Canadian side to immediately stop this political charade and not take a wrong and dangerous path. If the Canadian side continues to provoke, China will retaliate to the end,” Cong said.

Also Read: Vice President of China calls for stable China-UK relations

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Clara Burton

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