China has warned Canada of “resolute countermeasures” after Ottawa expelled a Chinese diplomat over allegations of foreign interference and intimidation of a Canadian lawmaker.
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly announced on Monday that Zhao Wei, a consular officer from the Chinese Consulate General in Toronto, was declared persona non grata and asked to leave the country.
Joly said Canada will not tolerate any form of foreign interference in its internal affairs and that diplomats who engage in such behavior will be sent home.
China’s embassy in Ottawa strongly condemned the expulsion and denied any interference in a statement. It said Canada’s action seriously undermined the legitimate rights and interests of China’s diplomatic and consular personnel and sabotaged the relations between the two countries.
“China will resolutely take countermeasures,” a spokesperson for the embassy said, without specifying what those measures would be.
On Tuesday, China’s Foreign Ministry announced that it had expelled Jennifer Lynn Lalonde, consul of the Consulate General of Canada in Shanghai, as a “reciprocal countermeasure” to Canada’s “unscrupulous move”.
The ministry said China reserves the right to further react and urged Canada to correct its mistake and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs.
The diplomatic row adds to the already strained ties between Canada and China, which have been deteriorating since the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver in 2018 at the request of the United States.