Canada’s Global Affairs officials summoned China’s top diplomat in Canada for a private dressing down Thursday after remarks he made warning Canada against offering political asylum to Hong Kong democracy activists.
In a statement on Friday, O’Toole took a much harder line than the Liberal government did — at least publicly — to comments made by Cong in a virtual news conference Thursday on the 50th anniversary of Canada-China diplomatic ties. That’s when Cong warned Canada against emboldening Hong Kong “criminals” and against interfering in China’s internal affairs.
O’Toole said if no apology is offered, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should immediately withdraw Cong’s diplomatic credentials.
“The Chinese ambassador has decided to engage in belligerent rhetoric unbecoming of his office,” said O’Toole. “To be clear, this was a threat to the 300,000 Canadians in Hong Kong. And a barely veiled one at that.”
O’Toole repeated long-standing calls on the Liberal government to expedite entry to Canada for pro-democracy protestors and political refugees fleeing Hong Kong and to impose sanctions under the Magnitsky Act, which target officials individually for human rights violations, “against those responsible for imposing a draconian national security law” in Hong Kong, which he said violates the Sino-British Joint Declaration, an international treaty.-------------------------------------------------
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