China expels Canadian diplomat in retaliation against Ottawa

In a statement, China’s foreign ministry said China had taken a “reciprocal countermeasure to Canada’s unscrupulous action.” The same note reports that the Canadian diplomat stationed in Shanghai Jennifer Lynn Lalonde has been asked to leave, until May 13, and that China “reserves the right to take other retaliatory measures”.

Canada had previously announced the expulsion of a Chinese diplomat, accused by Ottawa of having tried to intimidate a Canadian MP critical of the Beijing regime.

A senior Canadian government official said the diplomat, identified as Zhao Wei, had five days to leave the country.

The case involves Canadian Conservative MP Michael Chong and his family, who allegedly came under pressure from China following Chong’s criticism of the Asian country’s human rights record.

Relations between Beijing and Ottawa have deteriorated in recent years following the 2018 arrest by Canadian authorities of an executive from the Chinese telecommunications group Huawei. In retaliation, China detained two Canadian citizens.

Although all have been released, tensions have persisted, with Beijing accusing Ottawa of playing into Washington’s policy of containing China and Canadian officials regularly accusing China of interfering in the country’s internal affairs.

Alaric Cohen

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