Canada summoned Beijing’s ambassador after reports of a network of illegal Chinese “police stations” in the country, following warnings that Ottawa was prepared to take further action if China refused to “cease and refrain” from his alleged activities.
Speaking to the Canada-China Commission on Tuesday evening, Weldon Ip, director general for North Asia at the Canadian Foreign Ministry, said he was aware of the “many engagements” the federal government has made with China, including Ambassador Cong Piu’s reminders over and over again.
“We’ve had many engagements…we’ve expressed our deepest concerns,” Ib, director general for North Asia at Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, told parliamentarians.
Ip was responding to a question from Raquel Dancho, the Conservative shadow minister for public safety who has raised the issue at the committee’s upcoming hearing. Previous media reports.
In an October report, Defenders of Security, a Madrid-based NGO, detailed 54 suspected Chinese police stations around the world, prompting authorities from several countries, including Germany, the Netherlands and others. Canada to open a police investigation.
Conservative lawmakers previously called on the federal government to recall the Chinese ambassador to duty and review the diplomats’ credentials.
“The Government of Canada has officially insisted that the Chinese government take into account… all activities in Canada that do not fall under the Vienna Conventions,” Ip said, adding that there was a possibility of further meetings “depending on how [the Chinese] Answer “.
He told Dancho that he could not say whether Ottawa had expelled any diplomats.
The Chinese Embassy in Canada previously acknowledged three addresses reported by Safeguard Defenders, but said they were merely “service stations” in Canada to help Chinese citizens process documents and obtain driving permits for Chinese cars. The embassy said the volunteers were “not involved in any criminal investigation or related activity”.
The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations puts consular and administrative services – renewal of driver’s licenses – under the supervision of embassies and consulates and prohibits diplomats from interfering in the internal affairs of the host country.
Earlier this week, the head of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police told Parliament that they were investigating “wider interference activities by foreign actors” – but he declined to say which country was involved.
It also accuses Beijing of trying to interfere in the 2019 Canadian federal election, by partially funding the campaigns of at least 11 candidates.
In a letter to parliament, Brenda Lucky said the federal police were “aware of interference by foreign actors in a wide range of activities, including interference with democratic processes,” but declined to provide further details. The RCMP said earlier that it was actively investigating reports of illegal Chinese police stations.