Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Canada will ‘never tolerate’ foreign interference, foreign minister tells China

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OTTAWA: Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly told her Chinese counterpart Qin Gang on the sidelines of the G20 summit in New Delhi that Canada will never tolerate any form of foreign interference in its internal affairs, according to a statement from Joly on Friday.

Joly was “direct, firm, and unequivocal” in her first meeting with Qin as China’s foreign minister, according to the statement.

Recent Canadian media reports, citing anonymous intelligence sources, have alleged attempts by China to interfere in Canada’s last two elections. Beijing denies those allegations.

“Canada will never tolerate any form of foreign interference in our democracy and internal affairs by China,” Joly told Qin, according to statement.

“We will never accept any breach of our territorial integrity and sovereignty,” Joly said. “We will never accept any breach by Chinese diplomats of the Vienna Convention on Canada’s soil.”

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Earlier on Friday, Qin refuted allegations that Chinese embassies and consulates in Canada were trying to interfere in Canadian elections, saying the alleged interference was “completely false and nonsensical.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has acknowledged interference attempts by China, but insisted the outcomes of the votes were not altered. He is under pressure to set up a public inquiry into those claims after a parliamentary committee passed a motion on Thursday seeking a probe.

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