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Canada Considers Expelling Chinese Diplomats Over Intelligence Report

TORONTO (AP) – Canada’s foreign minister said on Thursday that the country would close its doors to Chinese diplomats after intelligence services reported that one of them plotted to blackmail a Hong Kong relative of a Canadian lawmaker. said he was considering expulsion.

Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie said the foreign ministry had summoned the Chinese ambassador to the meeting to stress that Canada would not tolerate such interference.

She said intelligence reports show opposition Conservative MP Michael Chung and his Hong Kong relatives were targeted after Chung criticized Beijing’s human rights record.

“We are considering various options, including expulsion of diplomats,” Jolie said before a congressional committee.

The Canadian spy agency has not released any details. Chong said the report identified the Toronto-based diplomat as part of the conspiracy. Chong was critical of Beijing’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.

“I can’t imagine your shock and concern when you learned that your loved one was targeted in this way,” Jolie told Chong at the committee hearing. “There will be consequences.”

Chong said diplomats should board the first plane to leave Canada.

“I cannot explain why this diplomat has not yet been told to leave the country,” he said.

“If we don’t take this course of action, we’re essentially setting up a giant billboard for every authoritarian nation in the world to accept foreign interference targeting Canadian citizens. , this person must be packed and sent.”

China’s ambassador Kong Peiwu denied interference in a statement and warned against expelling diplomats.

“Again, China strongly urges Canada to immediately stop this self-imposed political farce and not take any more wrong and dangerous paths. I will fight with all my might until the end.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday, citing top-secret documents, that he was unaware of the spy agency’s report until Monday’s Globe and Mail article, and said the spy agency had the information. He said in parliament that he was informed by Canada’s national security adviser that the 2021 report had been submitted to various parts of the government, including the then-national security adviser.

Prime Minister Trudeau has ordered Canadian intelligence agencies to notify lawmakers immediately of any threats to them, regardless of whether the threats are deemed credible.

Canadian spy agencies did not know that Mr Chong’s family had been targeted until this week.

Many governments, the United Nations, and human rights groups have accused China of sweeping more than a million people from the Uyghur community and other predominantly Muslim minority groups into concentration camps. their language and religion. China denies the accusations, based on evidence such as interviews with survivors and photos and satellite images from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the home of the Uighurs, a major hub for factories and farms in China’s Far West.

Prime Minister Trudeau last month named the former governor-general as a special agent to investigate alleged Chinese interference in Canada’s last two elections. Stated.

The Globe and Mail, citing unidentified sources, say China wants Trudeau’s liberals to be re-elected in the 2021 elections, and conservatives considered unfriendly to Beijing. It was reported that he worked to beat the party’s politicians.

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