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Chinese envoy warns Canada against granting asylum to Hong Kong protesters

OTTAWA — The Chinese ambassador to Canada is warning the Trudeau government not to grant asylum to Hong Kong residents fleeing a widely criticized national security law imposed by Beijing.

Ambassador Cong Peiwu brands pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong as violent criminals and says if Canada grants them asylum that amounts to interference in China’s internal affairs. 

Cong says if Canada cares about 300,000 Canadian citizens in Hong Kong — and the Canadian companies doing business there — it should support Chinese efforts to fight what he calls fight violent crime.

Cong also flatly rejects Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s assertion that China is engaging in coercive diplomacy by imprisoning two Canadian men in retaliation for the arrest of a Chinese high-tech executive on an American extradition warrant.

Trudeau used that label as the two countries marked 50 years of relations at one of the lowest times in bilateral relations.

In December 2018, China imprisoned two Canadian men, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, and has charged them with violating the country’s national security.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 15, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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