Canada expelled Chinese diplomat, Zhao Wei, from his post in Toronto on Monday after the Canadian government accused him of political interference. In response to Wei's removal, Beijing expelled Canadian diplomat Jennifer Lynn Lalonde who was based in Shanghai. Beijing has given her 4 days to leave the country.
Allegations of political interference first surfaced about Zhao in a leaked report by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). The report "found an accredited Chinese diplomat in the country had taken efforts toward targeting opposition lawmaker Michael Chong and relatives who may be in China." Beijing has claimed that the CSIS report is full of "lies."
Chong was reportedly targeted after he sponsored a motion to condemn China's treatment of its Uyghur Muslim group.
The intimidation campaign came after Chong worked for years to get legislation passed to label China's human rights abuses, particularly its treatment of the Uyghur Muslim minority, as "genocide."
On Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters, "we will not be intimidated. We will continue to do everything necessary to keep Canadians protected from foreign interference."
Meanwhile, China quickly responded with its foreign ministry denouncing the "smear campaign against China" based in "ideologically based political manipulation" that it described as "nonsensical."
According to Zerohedge, the ministry referred to Lalonde's removal from her post as a "reciprocal countermeasure to Canada's unscrupulous move."
"We advise the Canadian side to immediately stop unreasonable provocations," ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said.
"If the Canadian side does not listen to advice and acts recklessly, China will resolutely and forcefully respond," Wang warned.
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