China threatens “consequences” over investigation into alleged interference

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China is warning of “consequences” for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government if it does not stop spreading “lies and false information” about alleged interference in Canadian affairs.

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The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa issued a stern statement on Friday, a day after Canada announced a public inquiry into interference by China, Russia and other state and non-state actors in the 2019 and 2021 Canadian national elections.

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“China deeply regrets this and firmly rejects it,” an embassy spokesman said in the statement. “China urges the Canadian side to abandon its ideological bias, stop promoting China-related lies and misinformation, stop misleading the public and stop undermining China-Canada relations.” Otherwise, Canada must bear the consequences.”

The investigation comes after months of allegations by anonymous national security sources in media articles that China sought to promote pro-Beijing Canadian candidates and suppress those who took a tougher stance against President Xi Jinping’s government.

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Trudeau said in an interview with Bloomberg News on Thursday that there was no room for a political “rapprochement” with China because Xi’s forceful foreign policy has made it impossible for the two countries to have a normal relationship.

However, the embassy spokesman said China has always adhered to the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs. On the contrary, he said some in Canada have sought to undermine China’s security and stability by supporting “anti-Chinese separatist activities” on issues such as Taiwan, the Xinjiang region and Hong Kong.

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“We have no interest in and have never interfered in Canada’s domestic affairs and elections,” he said. “For political ulterior motives, some Canadian politicians and media outlets have long spread lies and disinformation against China.”

The statement did not elaborate on the possible “consequences” Canada would face. Earlier this year, the two countries each expelled a diplomat over the dispute.

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