Asia General World

“Persona non grata” between China and Canada

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly declared China’s diplomat Zhao Wei “persona non grata” (In Latin phrase for unwelcome person) and ordered her to leave Canada on Monday, May 9, 2023. China also ordered the removal of Jennifer Lynn Lalonde, Canada’s diplomat in its Shanghai Consulate in China as countermeasures on Tuesday, May 10, 2023. Both diplomats have 5 days to leave their respective countries.

The China diplomat Zhao Wei is accused of collecting Mr. Michael D. Chong (MP)’s family and relatives information in Hong Kong. Mr. Chong has criticized China’s Uyghur genocide in Xinjiang that abuses human rights. In 2020, Canada imposed sanctions against people in connection with the Uyghur genocide. In response, the People’s Republic of China government also imposed sanctions against Mr. Chong with countermeasures.

Canadian government imposed sanctions against many Russian officials after Russia went on invasion in Ukraine in 2022. Mr. Chong was sanctioned by the Russian government as a countermeasure.

“China reserves the right to further react,” Beijing said in a statement, according to BBC, “Diplomatic relations between the two countries have been strained since the detention of Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou, held in Canada on US fraud charges in 2018, and Beijing’s subsequent arrest of two Canadians on spying charges. All three were freed in 2021.” It seems China is abusing diplomatic tactics as retribution for what could be just human rights action from other nations.

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