In a tit-for-tat move, China expels Canadian diplomat in Shanghai after Ottawa said it was expelling a Chinese diplomat accused of trying to intimidate a Canadian lawmaker critical of Beijing’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims.
China has decided to declare the consul of the Consulate General of Canada in Shanghai, Jennifer Lynn Lalonde ‘persona non grata’, in a reciprocal move to Ottawa’s move to send home diplomat Zhao Wei.
Lalonde has been asked to leave China by May 13.
“On May 9, the Canadian government declared a diplomat of the Consulate-General of China in Toronto persona non grata. China strongly condemns and firmly opposes this and has lodged serious demarches and strong protest to Canada,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in an official statement.
China said that it reserves the “right to further react.”
“As a reciprocal countermeasure in reaction to Canada’s unscrupulous move, China decides to declare Jennifer Lynn Lalonde, consul of the Consulate General of Canada in Shanghai persona non grata, who has been asked to leave China no later than May 13,” the statement added.
Earlier, the Chinese Embassy in Canada said that Ottawa’s actions violate international law and basic principles of international relations and relevant bilateral agreements between the two nations.
Canada has alleged that Zhao Wei was involved in a plot to intimidate Conservative MP Michael Chong and his relatives in Hong Kong, Global Times reported citing The Canadian Press.
The Chinese Embassy said that Beijing never interferes in the internal affairs of other countries. It called the claim of “Chinese interference in Canadian domestic affairs” hyped up by some politicians and media “baseless and a blatant slander” against China on the basis of ideological bias and political manipulation.
The Chinese Embassy noted Canada’s action seriously undermines the legitimate rights and interests of Beijing’s diplomatic and consular personnel. Canada’s action comes after the Canadian side summoned the Chinese ambassador on Thursday and threatened the expulsion of Chinese diplomatic and consular personnel.
Canada has decided to expel a Chinese diplomat Zhao Wei following an uproar in the country over allegations of political meddling, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said in a statement. However, Beijing has fiercely denied any election interference, calling the claims “purely baseless and defamatory”.
“Canada has decided to declare persona non grata Mr Zhao Wei,” read a statement by Foreign Minister Melanie Joly.
“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 added.