It is easy to expel Chinese diplomats, easier than expelling them, said Jolie – National

Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie says it is “easier” for Ottawa to block Chinese diplomats from entering Canada than to expel them once they are here.

She also acknowledged to the committee that the Chinese ambassador has been summoned specifically over election interference, a Global Affairs Canada official said Thursday in response to a question about whether the summons was over “interference in the 2019 and 2021 elections”. Was.

“Yes, that’s right,” said Jenny Chen, an executive director of GAC’s Greater China division.

Jolie told a committee of MPs investigating suspected Chinese interference in Canada that Global Affairs Canada last denied a visa to a Chinese “political operative”. The Globe and Mail first reported the news Thursday morning.

“When China wanted to deport a political activist last time, we decided to deny a visa, which is clearly the right thing to do,” Jolie said.

Story continues below Advertisement

“When it comes to our own accreditation process for granting visas to diplomats, there has been a high level of awareness over the past months. … I have instructed my department to never hesitate to deny a visa if the visa is for a political worker and is therefore affiliated with the Communist Party of China.

Read more:

Why the RCMP are investigating ‘alleged Chinese police stations’ in Quebec

The Liberal government has come under fire in recent weeks for how seriously it has taken Chinese foreign interference, as reports from Canada’s intelligence community continue to emerge.

On Wednesday, Global News published a story indicating two high-level national security reports before and after the 2019 election warned senior government officials that Chinese government officials were funding Canadian political candidates. Were staying

See also  Credit Suisse Receives CHF 50 Billion Bailout From Swiss National Bank - Bitcoin News

Jolie’s appearance on the Procedure and House Affairs Committee comes as pressure mounts on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to call for a public inquiry into the issue.

He announced several investigations on Monday, but did not investigate.

Click to play video: 'Conservative MP questions expulsion of Chinese diplomats amid allegations of foreign election interference'

Conservative MPs question whether Chinese diplomats were expelled amid allegations of foreign election interference

A Chinese political operative denied entry in the fall appears to be the only case of a Beijing diplomat being prevented from entering Canada under Jolie’s watch. He was repeatedly asked how many times Canada has expelled Chinese diplomats, but often gave no clear answer.

Story continues below Advertisement

But he said he believes it is “easier” to prevent Beijing officials from entering Canada than to expel them, noting that Beijing would expel Canadian diplomats in return.

“Right now in China, our biggest challenge is understanding how China operates, how they plan, how they operate. I believe deeply in the importance of diplomacy and our diplomats. We need eyes and ears on the ground.

“I am very concerned about the safety of Canadians overseas. We know we have consular issues with China. We need to engage to protect these people. It is something that keeps me up at night , And that’s why it’s important that we have capacity in Beijing and in our network in China.

Read more:

Canada should be ready to expel Chinese diplomats over interference, harassment: Ex-envoy

However, Jolie said that if a Chinese diplomat violates the Vienna Convention on Canadian soil, the government will act “very, very quickly” to expel them.

See also  Ukraine war: 'savage' Russian missile and drone airstrikes kill at least six | world News

The 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations is a United Nations treaty that regulates the conduct and expectations of diplomats around the world. It outlines what diplomatic missions can and cannot do, and how they will be treated by the states where they operate.

Story continues below Advertisement

“I believe it is easier to prevent (than to expel),” Jolie said.

“I think later when it comes to diplomats in our country the question is: how do you make sure you have the evidence to deal with the expulsion, and what are the ramifications of the expulsion?”

He also said that Canada has summoned the Chinese ambassador several times on various issues.

“On election interference?” Conservative MP Michael Cooper asked him.

“Like I said, yes,” Jolie said before asking Chen the question.

“On February 24, a diplomatic representation was given to Ambassador Cong by senior officials at the GAC,” Chen said.

Cooper asked: “With regard to interference in the 2019 and 2021 elections?”

Chen confirmed.

NSICOP to launch foreign interference investigation

Meanwhile, a committee of lawmakers overseeing national security says it has begun studying foreign interference following Trudeau’s request on Monday.

Story continues below Advertisement

In a statement, the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP) says it will examine the status of foreign interference in Canada’s democratic processes from 2018.

Click to play video: 'Trudeau under pressure to answer claims of foreign interference'

Trudeau under pressure to respond to claims of foreign interference

“Foreign interference and influence have been identified as significant threats to the rights and freedoms of Canadians and Canadian society,” said MP David McGuinty, president of NSICOP.

“The Committee recognizes the importance of maintaining the integrity of our institutions, and looks forward to building on its previous review of the government’s response to foreign interference.”

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

#easy #expel #Chinese #diplomats #easier #expelling #Jolie #National