Canada summons Chinese envoy over alleged legislator intimidation

Canada’s Foreign Minister Melanie Joly has announced that her country summoned Chinese ambassador Cong Peiwu, following allegations that Beijing threatened an opposition party legislator and his family.

Facing pressure to address allegations of Chinese interference in Canadian politics, Joly said that she had instructed her deputy to summon Cong to “convey to him directly that we will not tolerate any form of foreign interference”.She also explained “that all options, including expulsion of diplomats, remain on the table as we consider the consequences for this behaviour”.

“What has happened is completely unacceptable. I cannot imagine the shock and concern of learning that your loved ones have been targeted in this way,” Joly said during a parliamentary committee hearing on Thursday.

The Globe and Mail newspaper, citing a classified report from Canada’s spy agency, reported on Monday that China had sought information about any relatives of a Canadian legislator “who may be located” within its borders, in a likely effort to “make an example of this MP and deter others” from taking anti-China positions.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) report did not name the lawmaker, but the Globe said a national security source identified the politician as Michael Chong, a member of the opposition Conservative Party of Canada.

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