China justifies its envoy’s warning to Canada to not to grant asylum to Hong Kong nationals

Beijing, Oct 16 (PTI) China on Friday justified a warning by its envoy to the Canadian government to not to grant asylum to Hong Kong residents fleeing abroad, saying that the ambassador was stating Beijing’s just position .

Chinese Ambassador to Canada, Cong Peiwu, in a video press conference from the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa, on Thursday said, we strongly urge the Canadian side not (to) grant so-called political asylum to those violent criminals in Hong Kong because it is the interference in China’s domestic affairs. And certainly, it will embolden those violent criminals.

So, if the Canadian side really cares about the stability and the prosperity in Hong Kong, and really cares about the good health and safety of those 300,000 Canadian passport-holders in Hong Kong, and the large number of Canadian companies operating in Hong Kong SAR, you should support those efforts to fight violent crimes, Cong said.

A large number of Hong Kong residents have been leaving the former British colony resenting China’s move to extend the new security law to the specially administered province.

Asked about Cong’s remarks which were interpreted as a warning by Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here that, “the Chinese embassy in Canada just made clear our just position on issues relating to Hong Kong. It is beyond reproach”.

“If anyone is misinterpreting this, then you should ask for the reason and find out if there are ulterior motives involved”, he said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on June 30 signed a controversial security law that gave Beijing new powers over Hong Kong that are tailor-made to crackdown against dissent, criminalising sedition and effectively curtailing protests, amidst global anger and outrage in the former British colony.

The relations between China and Canada were strained by the arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, in Vancouver in 2018 on a bank fraud warrant issued by the US authorities.

Meng, who is currently facing trial in the case, is also the daughter of Chinese telecom giant Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei.

Following this, China has detained two Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, who have been charged with “spying on national secrets” and providing intelligence for “outside entities”.