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China expels Canada’s top diplomat in tit-for-tat move

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China on Tuesday expelled a Canadian diplomat, Jennifer Lynn Lalonde in a tit-for-tat after Ottawa told a Toronto-based Chinese diplomat to leave the country.

This move will further escalate an already tense bilateral relations.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry asked the diplomat to leave China, right after Canada expelled Chinese diplomat Zhao Wei.

A statement from Beijing read, “On May 9, the Canadian government declared a diplomat of the Consulate-General of China in Toronto persona non grata. China strongly condemns and firmly opposes this and has lodged serious démarches and strong protest to Canada’’.

“As a reciprocal countermeasure in reaction to Canada’s unscrupulous move, China decides to declare Jennifer Lynn Lalonde, consul of the Consulate General of Canada in Shanghai persona non grata, who has been asked to leave China before May 13.’’

The spat comes after the Globe and Mail newspaper reported, citing a top secret document from 2021, that the Chinese government was targeting Canadian lawmaker Michael Chong and his family in Hong Kong after he sponsored a parliamentary motion condemning Beijing’s conduct in Xinjiang as genocide.

According to the report, Zhao was involved, which sparked calls by Chong for his expulsion.

The controversy raises tensions in the already strained relations between the two countries.

“We will not tolerate any interference in our internal affairs,’’ Canada’s Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly announced.

China’s Foreign Ministry meanwhile reserved the right to take further action.

dpa/NAN



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