China strongly condemns, lodges solemn protest and vows to take countermeasure as Canada expels Chinese diplomat
Published: May 09, 2023 07:42 AM
China Canada Photo: VCG

China Canada Photo: VCG

China strongly condemned and firmly opposed the Canadian side declaring a Chinese diplomat as "persona non grata" expelling the diplomat on Monday, which serious violates international law and basic principles of international relations, as well as relevant bilateral agreements between China and Canada, the Chinese Embassy in Canada said. It also vowed to take resolute countermeasures. 

Some Chinese experts believe that the latest diplomatic row will deliver a direct heavy blow to the already strained China-Canada relations, and the Canadian government's China policy has become more confrontational due to its domestic political wrestling, which may enter a downward spiral.

The Liberal government is expelling Chinese diplomat Zhao Wei, whom Canada's spy agency alleged was involved in a plot to intimidate Conservative MP Michael Chong and his relatives in Hong Kong, the Canadian Press reported on May 9. 

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly wrote in a statement that Canada has declared the Toronto-based diplomat as "persona non grata," according to the media report. 

China never interferes in the internal affairs of other countries. The claim of "Chinese interference in Canadian domestic affairs" hyped up by some politicians and media is baseless and a blatant slander against China, based on ideological bias and political manipulation, the Chinese embassy said. And the Canadian side's unreasonable provocation seriously undermines the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese diplomatic and consular personnel.

The latest move came after the Canadian side summoned the Chinese ambassador on Thursday and threatened the expulsion of Chinese diplomatic and consular personnel, toward which the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs of China's Foreign Ministry lodged a stern representation to Canada's ambassador to China.

China's diplomatic and consular personnel in Canada have always strictly performed their duties in accordance with relevant international conventions and bilateral agreements between China and Canada, the Chinese embassy noted. 

Instead of protecting the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese diplomatic and consular personnel, the Canadian government deliberately caters to anti-China forces and takes extreme measures against Chinese consular officials. China will never accept this, it noted. 

We urge the Canadian side to immediately stop its wrong actions and not to go further down the wrong path. If Canada acts recklessly, China will take resolute and powerful countermeasures, the embassy said.

"The fundamental reason that Canada made those baseless allegations against China is that the country has been enhancing its strategic coordination with the US, and the latest expulsion could signal the start of a series of tit-for-tat moves,"Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

It will become a downward spiral as far as the Canadian government's China policy is concerned, which would pose more challenges for China-Canada relations, the expert said, who also believed that the US' future China policy will also affect the following moves of Ottawa.

The essence of this matter is the manifestation of domestic political struggle in Canada through foreign affairs, another Chinese expert on China-Canada relations who preferred not to be named told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

"As the China-Canada relations have been already at a low point, the opposition party has been hijacking the government on the relevant matter," the expert said. 

Some Chinese experts also criticized Canada for not being rational in its China policy. China-Canada relations, which have not fully recovered from the arrest of Huawei's Meng Wanzhou, should not be kidnapped and destroyed by certain Canadian politicians, they noted.