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Newsline: Canada declares Chinese diplomat ‘persona non grata’

Canada decided to expel a Chinese diplomat, following an uproar in the country over allegations of political meddling, which Beijing has fiercely denied. “Canada has decided to declare persona non grata Mr. Zhao Wei,” read a statement by Foreign Minister Mélanie 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.” The news follows weeks of uproar in Canada sparked by revelations, first reported by the Globe and Mail newspaper, that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service found an accredited Chinese diplomat in the country had targeted opposition lawmaker Michael Chong and his relatives in China following his criticisms of Beijing’s treatment of its Uyghur minorities. Chong has repeatedly called for Zhao’s expulsion since the Globe report emerged. Beijing has denied accusations of political interference in Canada. In a statement dated May 5 and posted to the website of the Chinese Consulate in Toronto, a spokesperson flatly rejected the possibility “that a consular officer from the Chinese Consulate General in Toronto was involved in the so-called intimidation of a Canadian Member of Parliament and his relatives.” “The claim has no factual basis and is totally groundless. We express strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to it,” it said. (https://lite.cnn.com/2023/05/08/americas/canada-expels-chinese-diplomat-intl/index.html) The intelligence service also said that Beijing had tried to sway the outcome of Canada’s federal elections in 2019 and 2021.

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