Chinese embassy slams Canadian PM's accusation on Chinese interference in Canadian elections

2024-04-12 Global Times Editor:Li Yan

The Chinese Embassy in Canada slammed the latest remarks made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who accused China of trying to "meddle in Canadian elections," urging Canada to respect and face the facts, abandon ideological biases, stop hyping up the lie of "Chinese interference."

In a statement issued by the embassy on Wednesday local time, it expressed strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to those remarks.

China has repeatedly emphasized its consistent principle of non-interference in internal affairs and has never had any interest in interfering in Canadian internal affairs. China has solemnly and clearly stated its position to Canada on numerous occasions during bilateral and multilateral engagements, the embassy said.

Trudeau told an official inquiry testimony on Wednesday that "China tried to meddle in the past two Canadian elections but the results were not affected," claiming that it was "improbable" Beijing preferred any one party over another, Reuters reported.

Trudeau set up the commission last year under pressure from opposition legislators unhappy about media reports on China's possible role in the elections.

Some politicians in Canada, driven by their own interests, are attempting to target China in the public inquiry, trying to label and cast aspersions on China. The testimonies have been characterized with terms like "highly likely," "probable," and "suspicious," but they fail to provide any substantial evidence, the Chinese embassy said.

This once again fully illustrates that the so-called "foreign interference" public inquiry is nothing but a politically orchestrated farce, and some individuals in Canada have stooped to an inexplicable level of slander and attack against China, it noted.

According to a Canadian Security Intelligence Service report, for example, Canada has accused the Chinese government officials of having "likely manipulated" a Liberal Party nomination race in a Toronto-area electoral district, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

Former democratic institutions minister Karina Gould was also quoted as saying in Canadian media reports that after the federal election in 2019, Canada's spy agency had observed "low-level foreign interference activities by China" but that the vote was not compromised.

She also mentioned on Wednesday that "probably in every election that Canada has ever had, there have been attempts at foreign interference…" Radio Canada reported.

Trudeau's personal approval ratings have plummeted in the last six months and he needs to use such accusations to offset the public's dissatisfaction with his handling issues such as the economy, housing, and climate change, Yao Peng, deputy secretary-general of the Canadian Studies Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"It is also another move of his leading the Canadian public, who are unaware of the truth, and the 'deep state' being hostile toward China, to engage in double-standards politics. This is his personal political agenda," the Chinese expert said.

Imitating the US' Cold War approach, the Canadian prime minister uses such aggressive accusations to counteract the rising popularity of the Conservative Party in Canada over the last six months, aiming to attract attention and divert public criticism from his party, Yao noted.

The Chinese embassy emphasized that China is actually the target of "foreign interference" activities, including by Canada.

For a long time, Canada has provoked China on major issues concerning China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, such as Taiwan, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Xizang, and has condoned and supported various anti-China separatist activities. Not only does Canada show no remorse, but it also turns around and falsely accuses China of interfering in Canadian internal affairs, the embassy noted.

Canadian media openly reported that Canadian security intelligence agencies conducted surveillance targeting Chinese diplomatic missions and personnel in Canada. Relevant Canadian agencies openly admitted to interfering with the normal functions of Chinese diplomatic missions in Canada during the inquiry.

The Canadian government keeps referring to two Canadian citizens' cases, yet it paid a hefty sum to settle with the individuals involved in the cases. "Isn't it obvious who is interfering in other countries' internal affairs? Who is engaging in espionage activities? The facts are clear for all to see," the embassy said.

Canada's federal government has reached a million-dollar compensation settlement in March with Michael Spavor, one of "two Michaels," who were jailed by China for nearly three years on charges of espionage and illegal provision of China's state secrets to foreign entities.

Some Chinese experts said the Canadian government's initial accusations against China for arbitrarily detaining "two Michaels" as "hostage diplomacy" now appear hypocritical, as reaching a settlement with Michael amounts to a self-inflicted blow to its own credibility.

China strongly urges Canada to respect and face the facts, abandon ideological biases, stop hyping up the lie of "Chinese interference," and stop poisoning the atmosphere of China-Canada relations, or else it will suffer the consequences of its actions.

Chinese experts also believed that Trudeau's long-standing accusations as prime minister have undoubtedly hindered the improvement of China-Canada relations.

Firstly, regarding the so-called Chinese interference in the Canadian elections, which is baseless and has been proven to be "speculative," and Trudeau's use of "intentional" to blur the accusations is utterly irresponsible, Yao noted.

For six years, the Trudeau government has continuously and deliberately held back China-Canada relations, harming economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, which has led to a mindset that has always failed to view China-Canada relations from an opportunity to improve the status quo, he said.

The Canadian government is deliberately leading a misinformed public to negatively view China and Chinese companies, which will only reveal more of its backlash effect on Trudeau personally and his party over time, the expert added.

"It is believed that more and more Canadian people will come to realize the truth, that there is no so-called Chinese intention to interfere in Canadian elections," Yao said.

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