Canada announced on Monday the expulsion of a Chinese diplomat it accused of seeking to intimidate a Canadian member of parliament hostile to Beijing.
“Canada has decided to declare persona non grata Mr. Zhao Wei,” Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said in a statement.
“We will not tolerate any form of foreign interference in our internal affairs,” she stressed. “Diplomats in Canada have been warned that if they engage in this type of behaviour, they will be sent home.”
The move came after Conservative legislator Michael Chong, an outspoken critic of China’s treatment of its Uyghur Muslim minority, said China had targeted his family for harassment.
This prompted Joly’s office to summon Chinese Ambassador Cong Peiwu to express frustration over what it termed attempts to meddle in Canada’s domestic politics.
The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa “strongly condemned” the expulsion. It said it had lodged a protest with the Canadian government and threatened “countermeasures.”