Canada expels Chinese diplomat over 'intimidation campaign,' Beijing threatens further retaliation

'We urge Canada to stop its provocations at once,' said China's foreign ministry. 'If Canada decides to continue its wanton acts, China will react firmly, and Canada must bear all consequences.'

Canada expels Chinese diplomat over 'intimidation campaign,' Beijing threatens further retaliation
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang (Image Left) and Facebook/ Justin Trudeau (Image Right)
Remove Ads

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has expelled the Chinese diplomat accused of intimidating MP Michael Chong and his family for years, unbeknown to the MP until recently. 

According to The Globe and Mail, a Chinese Ministry of State Security officer wanted information on Chong's relatives abroad to impose sanctions on them after Chong tabled a parliamentary motion declaring Beijing's treatment of Uyghurs a genocide on February 18, 2021. Beijing allegedly assigned the file to a People's Republic of China (PRC) diplomat in Toronto.

Chong expressed disbelief on May 1 after learning the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) failed to inform him of the intimidation campaign by diplomat Wei Zhao. He knew of the foreign interference through The Globe report last week, not the federal security agency. 

"While CSIS has briefed me about foreign interference threat activities, these briefings did not provide any information about specific threats to my family or me," penned Chong in a letter. "At a minimum, I would have expected my government to have a duty of care to inform me that my family was being targeted."

Conservative MP Gérard Deltell told reporters he found the actions of Chinese agents disturbing. "A colleague has been attacked," he said.

"How do you think the government should have acted?" asked a reporter. "Go to the Consulate and say, 'Hey, you guys, get out,'" replied Deltell. "Get out of the country."

China immediately retaliated and declared Jennifer Lynn Lalonde, a Shanghai-based diplomat, "persona non grata." The Chinese foreign ministry said she has until May 13 to leave the country — a "reciprocal countermeasure" in response to Canada's "unscrupulous" expulsion of Zhao. 

The expulsion of Lalonde was "fully justified and necessary," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters Tuesday. He said Beijing will not "waver in our resolve to uphold China's interests." 

"We urge Canada to stop its provocations at once," continued Wang. "If Canada decides to continue its wanton acts, China will react firmly, and Canada must bear all consequences."

Ottawa is waiting to see the extent of China's retaliation, with the Chinese foreign ministry warning it reserves the right "to react further." Canada may see a "significant worsening of economic relations" between the two countries.

China banned Canadian canola following the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver several years ago. Ottawa released her in September 2021, reciprocating the release of Canadian diplomats Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor after years in captivity.

China accused them of espionage then, though their jailing is perceived as retribution for Canada's detention of Wanzhou, who faced extradition charges to the U.S.

"It could be very bad news for us if China decides to target us again," said Roger Chevraux, chair of the Canadian Canola Growers Association. "We just got over the last ban."

Former Liberal MP Han Dong resigned from the party's caucus in March after allegations surfaced that he privately advised a senior Chinese diplomat not to free Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in February 2021.

Two anonymous national security sources said Dong allegedly suggested to Consul General Han Tao that releasing them would benefit the Conservatives in the polls. Dong confirmed he discussed the two Michaels with Han but denied allegations he advocated to delay their release.

"I raised the status of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig and called for their immediate release," claimed Dong. "At every opportunity, before they returned home, I demanded their release to Canada without delay. Any suggestions otherwise are false and are attempts to mislead you and your readers and slander me."

Remove Ads
Remove Ads

Don't Get Censored

Big Tech is censoring us. Sign up so we can always stay in touch.

Remove Ads