China warns Canada to stop making statements that risk damaging bilateral ties

Canada accuses China of playing an aggressive game with its democracy and institutions.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, BEIJING — The government China warned Canada to stop making statements that could damage bilateral relations between the two countries. The warning comes after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused Beijing of playing an aggressive game that endangers Canadian democracy.

“Relations between countries can only be built on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. The China-Canada relationship is no exception. The Canadian side must stop making statements that will damage bilateral relations. We are not interested in the internal affairs of Canada,” Chinese Foreign Ministry (Ministry) spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during a press briefing on Tuesday, 8/11/2022, quoted from the official website of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On Monday (7/11), Justin Trudeau accused China of playing an “aggressive game” with its democracy and state institutions. This came after reports emerged of Beijing’s interference in recent elections in Canada.

Trudeau said Canada has taken significant steps to strengthen the integrity of the electoral process and system there. He also assured that his country will continue to invest in efforts to combat foreign interference in Canadian elections and institutions. “Unfortunately, we see states, state actors around the world, whether it’s China or otherwise, continuing to play an aggressive game with our institutions, with our democracy,” Trudeau told reporters.

Earlier, Canadian outlet Global News reported that China funded a “secret network” of candidates in the country’s recent vote. Citing unnamed sources, Global News reported that intelligence officials told the Trudeau administration that China was trying to influence or subvert its democratic process.

The Global News report accused Beijing of directing cash transfers through Ontario lawmakers and others to at least 11 federal election candidates as well as Chinese operators working as campaign staff. Global News also said China is seeking to place agents in the offices of Canadian lawmakers to influence policy.

Last month, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said it was investigating allegations of an “illegal” Chinese government-owned police station in their country. A September study by the Madrid-based rights group Safeguard Defenders found that China’s police agency had set up 54 police stations in 30 countries, including the United States, Britain, Brazil and Nigeria. According to Safeguard Defenders, these offices are used to lobby political targets abroad.

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