The Chinese ambassador to Ottawa brandishes the threat of retaliation against Canada on Monday after the House of Commons passed a motion declaring that China is committing genocide.
“We will not stand idly by while our national interest is offended,” Ambassador Cong Peiwu said in an interview with TVA Nouvelles.
“We will take firm measures to protect the interests and our national dignity”, he added without specifying what these measures could be.
The House of Commons unanimously adopted a motion on February 22 claiming that China is committing “genocide” against the Uighurs and other Muslims.
“There is no genocide in Xinjiang,” said Ambassador Cong, according to whom China is rather waging a fight against terrorism and separatism in the region.
“I would ask people here to respect the facts and not to spread these baseless accusations against China,” he said.
The rag has been burning between Ottawa and Beijing since the arrest in Canada of Huawei leader Meng Wanzhou in December 2018.
Ms Meng was arrested in Vancouver at the behest of the United States, which accuses her of bank fraud in an attempt to circumvent US sanctions against Iran.
“She has not broken any Canadian law,” pleaded the ambassador, again calling on Canada to let Ms. Meng return to China.
A trial soon for the two Michaels?
Hu Xijin, editor of the “Global Times”, an official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, wrote last week that a trial is expected to open soon for the two Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.
“It would be a very important development because it would complicate things to try to get them released,” said Guy Saint-Jacques, former Canadian ambassador to Beijing.
The Chinese ambassador said he was unable to confirm the information published by the “Global Times”.
China maintains that the arrest of the two men has nothing to do with the case of Meng Wanzhou, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently said he was convinced otherwise.
“It is very clear that the two Michaels were arrested on invented national security pretexts, a few days after we had fulfilled our responsibilities under our extradition treaty with the United States,” said Justin Trudeau.