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China’s Election Interference | Chinese Embassy slams ‘baseless’ allegations



(Ottawa) The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa denies reports of attempted election interference in Canada, saying the “baseless” and “defamatory” allegations harm diplomatic relations.

The Liberal government has been under pressure for a few weeks to explain what Canada is doing about allegations of Chinese interference in the last two federal elections. These allegations were mentioned in anonymous leaks to the media from sources in Canadian security agencies.

In an email sent Wednesday to The Canadian Press, the Chinese embassy in Ottawa assures that China “has always firmly opposed any attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries”.

The embassy says China is not interested in meddling in Canada’s internal affairs and has never attempted to do so.

The embassy claims that all of its consulates abide by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which includes “the duty not to interfere in the internal affairs” of the state where the diplomats are stationed.

The embassy also says it has bilateral agreements with Canada that require diplomats to behave “openly and above reproach” in the host country.

In the email, the embassy accuses certain Canadian agencies, as well as media, of creating and spreading “disinformation” about China and “poisoning the media atmosphere” about the country.

The embassy urges everyone to “stop stigmatizing Chinese consulates and staff performing their normal duties.”

The Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs is scheduled to hear from national security officials on Wednesday afternoon about allegations of Chinese interference in the 2019 and 2021 elections.

On Tuesday, a report assessing how a committee monitored interference in the 2021 election concluded that the federal government should consider lowering the threshold beyond which it notifies Canadians of potential interference in an election campaign.

The independent report by former senior civil servant Morris Rosenberg nevertheless concluded that the protocol designed to notify Canadians in the event of threats in the 2021 federal election worked well overall.

But he made several recommendations to better inform Canadians about what this committee of very senior officials would consider to be of concern.

The report also recommends further study on whether to lower the bar on when to notify Canadians of threats to the integrity of a federal election.

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