Zhao Wei, a Chinese diplomat, has been expelled from Canada as a result of a national scandal over accusations of political involvement.
Zhao Wei, a Chinese diplomat, has been expelled from Canada as a result of a national scandal over accusations of political involvement. Beijing has vehemently denied meddling in the election, labelling the allegations as “pure nonsense and defamatory.”
In a statement, Melanie Joly, Canada’s foreign minister, stated that “the country has decided to declare Mr Zhao Wei persona non grata.” “I’ve made it clear that we won’t stand for any kind of foreign meddling in our domestic affairs. “Canadian diplomats have been warned that if they act in this way, they will be expelled,” she continued.
“This choice has been made after carefully weighing all the relevant factors. The statement stated, “We remain steadfast in our conviction that safeguarding our democracy is of the utmost importance. The two countries’ diplomatic ties will further worsen as a result of this action. This development comes after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in March of this year that an independent special rapporteur would look into claims of Chinese influence in their most recent elections.
Former governor general David Johnston has been chosen by the Canadian government as its independent special rapporteur to look into claims that Beijing interfered with the 2019 and 2021 federal elections. According to a statement from Trudeau’s office, Johnston was granted access to pertinent information and documents, whether they were classified or not. He also agreed to provide frequent reports to the prime minister.
The news follows weeks of controversy in Canada brought on by revelations that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service found a Chinese diplomat accredited in the nation had targeted opposition leader Michael Chong and his relatives in China after his criticisms of Beijing’s treatment of its Uyghur minorities. Chong had been a vocal opponent of Beijing’s policies. The publication Globe and Mail broke the revelations first. According to the intelligence service, Beijing allegedly tried to sway the outcomes of Canada’s federal elections in 2019 and 2021. CNN claims that Chong has repeatedly requested Zhao’s firing ever since the Globe article was published.
Beijing has refuted claims that it meddled in Canadian politics. A spokesperson for the Chinese Consulate in Toronto categorically denied any involvement by “a consular officer from the Chinese Consulate General in Toronto in the so-called intimidation of a Canadian Member of Parliament and his relatives” in a statement dated May 5 and posted to the consulate’s website. “The assertion is completely unfounded and without any supporting facts. We firmly oppose it and express our deep displeasure with it,” the letter continued, accusing local politicians and media of attempting to “disrupt the usual trade and collaboration” between Canada and China, according to CNN.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada has claimed that the intelligence community failed to inform him of the claims regarding the alleged targeting of Chong, and the allegations have since grown to be a political headache for his administration. Much of Chong’s criticism has been directed towards the Trudeau administration. He claimed that the Trudeau administration moved too slowly.
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