The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is accusing Canada’s leaders of condoning anti-China comments.
The accusation comes after China faced backlash for threats made by Chinese ambassador to Canada Cong Peiwu against Canadians currently in Hong Kong.
“If the Canadian side really cares about the stability and the prosperity in Hong Kong, and really cares about the good health and safety of those 300,000 Canadian passport-holders in Hong Kong, and the large number of Canadian companies operating in Hong Kong SAR, you should support those efforts to fight violent crimes,” said Cong last week.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian addressed the situation during a Monday press conference.
“[Canadian politicians] did not verify, but also condoned the anti-China comments spreading across the nation and made groundless accusations against China,” said Zhao.
Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole responded to the ambassador’s threat by requesting an immediate apology from Cong, and asking for his credentials to be revoked should he fail to retract the remarks.
“The Chinese Ambassador has decided to engage in belligerent rhetoric unbecoming of his office. To be clear, this was a threat to the 300,000 Canadians in Hong Kong. And a barely veiled one at that,” wrote O’Toole in an official statement on the matter.
In his statement, O’Toole also called on the Trudeau government to expedite asylum for Hong Kongers seeking to flee the country and to place Magnitsky-style sanctions on Chinese officials involved in cracking down on the democratic rights of Hong Kong citizens.
On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland denounced the ambassador’s remarks but did not expel the diplomat.