China and Canada diplomat row

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China has expelled Canada’s consul in Shanghai, following Ottawa’s announcement that it would send home a Chinese diplomat accused of trying to intimidate a lawmaker. The move has further strained relations between the two countries, which have been deteriorating for years. The expulsions come after allegations that Chinese intelligence planned to target MP Michael Chong and his relatives in Hong Kong with sanctions for sponsoring a motion condemning Beijing’s conduct in the Xinjiang region as genocide.

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said that Canada would not tolerate any form of foreign interference in its internal affairs. In response, China condemned the decision to expel the Chinese diplomat and ordered the Canadian consul to leave the country by May 13.

The Chinese foreign ministry accused Canada of making an “unscrupulous move” and urged it to stop “unreasonable provocations.” The ministry warned that if Canada did not listen to its advice and acted recklessly, China would take “resolute and forceful retaliatory measures,” and that all consequences would be borne by Canada.

The expulsion of the Canadian consul in Shanghai is the latest in a series of retaliatory measures taken by China in response to Canadian actions. In 2018, Canada arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of the United States, which triggered a diplomatic dispute between China and Canada.

Since then, China has detained two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, on charges of espionage, and has placed restrictions on Canadian exports of canola, pork, and beef.

The current diplomatic row between Canada and China highlights the growing tensions between the two countries, which are rooted in differences over human rights, trade, and geopolitical influence.

Canada has been critical of China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, its crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, and its assertive territorial claims in the South China Sea. Meanwhile, China has accused Canada of interfering in its internal affairs and of being a pawn of the United States in its efforts to contain China’s rise.

The expulsion of the Canadian consul in Shanghai and the ongoing detention of the two Canadians have further damaged the relationship between Canada and China, and it remains to be seen how the situation will be resolved.

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