China on Friday criticized “slanderous and defamatory” Canadians for recalling its ambassador to Ottawa and considering expelling two Chinese diplomats accused of seeking to intimidate a Canadian lawmaker who criticizes Beijing.
Canada’s Globe and Mail reported Monday that the government has turned a blind eye to alleged “interference” by Chinese authorities in Canadian affairs.
Reportedly, Canadian Conservative MP Michael Chung and his family, who live in Hong Kong, have come under pressure over the parliamentarian’s criticism of Beijing.
Opposition lawmakers to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week called on the government to take responsibility for the protest.
In this context, the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned, on Thursday, the Chinese ambassador to discuss these allegations of intimidation, and it could also respond by expelling diplomats.
“Canada distorts and distorts the normal functioning of Chinese embassies and consulates in Canada,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning told reporters on Friday.
And she stressed that “China is deeply dissatisfied with it and strongly opposes it,” stressing that the Chinese ambassador “informed the Canadian Foreign Ministry official” of his “strong protests.”
Citing confidential documents and an anonymous source, The Globe and Mail claims that China’s intelligence agency has planned to target Mr Zhong because, in February 2021, he voted in favor of a proposal equaling the treatment China reserves for Uyghurs. Minority in “genocide”.
The Uighurs, who are mostly Muslims, are the main ethnic group in Xinjiang (northwest China), a region that has long been the target of deadly attacks that authorities have attributed to Islamists and Uyghur separatists.
In the name of fighting terrorism, the Chinese authorities launched a massive crackdown in the mid-2000s. The United States, which has made China a competitor, speaks of “genocide”. The United Nations raises the possibility of crimes against humanity.
Western studies accuse China of detaining more than a million Uyghurs and members of other Muslim ethnic groups a few years ago in “re-education camps”, and even imposing “forced labour”.
China denounces biased reports and talks of “vocational training centers” aimed at developing job opportunities and stamping out extremism.
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