Beijing kicks out Canadian consul after diplomat’s Ottawa expulsion
Beijing, May 9 (EFE).- Bijing is expelling Canada’s consul in Shanghai in a tit-for-tat response to the expulsion of a Chinese diplomat in Ottawa, the Asian giant’s foreign ministry announced Tuesday.
The ministry declared diplomat Jennifer Lynn Lalonde “persona non grata” and gave her five days to leave the country. In addition, it warned that it reserves the right to take further measures.
Canada on Monday announced its expulsion of Chinese diplomat Zhao Wei from the country for allegedly interfering in its internal affairs.
“China strongly condemns and firmly opposes this and has lodged serious démarches and strong protest to Canada,” the ministry said in its statement Tuesday.
“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.”
Canadian media reported that the government has been under pressure to act following revelations that Zhao was allegedly involved in a Chinese government campaign targeting Conservative MP Michael Chong, who has been critical of Beijing’s human rights record, and his extended family in Hong Kong.
Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said Monday that Zhao had been given five days to leave Canada.
“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 behavior, they will be sent home,” Joly said.
In 2018, Ottawa and Beijing had a serious diplomatic crisis over the case of Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Vancouver at the request of the United States, and then the two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who were arrested in China.
The expulsions of diplomats come two years after Canada and China closed the previous crisis with the release in 2021 of Meng, Kovrig and Spavor after an agreement between both countries, as well as the US. EFE