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  • Writer's pictureTaher Tarraf

China expels a Canadian diplomat

Updated: May 12, 2023

In response to #Canada's decision to expel a #Chinese diplomat in Toronto, China has expelled a Canadian diplomat in Shanghai, further straining their already tense relations over concerns about Chinese influence in Canada. On Monday, Canada expelled Chinese diplomat Zhao Wei, accusing him of trying to target a Canadian lawmaker critical of China's treatment of the Muslim Uighur minority.

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie stated that they would not tolerate any form of foreign interference. In response, China's foreign ministry announced that Canadian diplomat Jennifer Lynn Lalonde must leave the country by May 13 in response to Canada's "unreasonable actions." Beijing added that it reserves the right to respond with other measures.

Diplomatic tensions between the two countries have escalated since the 2018 arrest of Huawei Technologies' chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, and Beijing's subsequent arrest of two Canadians on espionage charges. The three countries were eventually released in 2021.

Canada's intelligence report on Chinese influence in 2021 included information on threats to Conservative MP Michael Chung and his family. China has denied any interference in Canada's internal affairs, dismissing the Canadian intelligence report as baseless and false.

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