China rebukes Canada over criticism of Hong Kong security law

Beijing says Ottawa is ‘meddling’ in Chinese affairs after PM Trudeau suspended extradition treaty with Hong Kong.

China has fired back at Canada for criticising Beijing’s national security law for Hong Kong, the second rebuke in a week that has added to strains on their bilateral ties.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that Canada was suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong due to the law and Canada’s foreign minister called the legislation “a significant step back” for liberty.

China’s embassy in Ottawa said in a statement on its website on Saturday that Canada had “grossly interfered” in Chinese affairs, adding that the new legislation would safeguard security in Hong Kong.

“Some western countries including Canada have been meddling in Hong Kong affairs under the pretext of human rights, which seriously violates international law and basic norms of international relations,” a spokesperson said in the statement.

“Hong Kong affairs are entirely China’s internal affairs and allow no foreign interference.”

China imposed the legislation this week despite protests by Hong Kong residents and criticism from Western nations, which said the legislation was setting the financial hub on an authoritarian track.

Hong Kong officials said on Saturday they were “very disappointed” in Canada’s suspension of the extradition treaty.

There was no immediate comment from Canada.

Relations between Beijing and Ottawa have been tense since 2018 when Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei, on a US warrant.

After Meng was detained, China arrested Canadian citizens Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat, and Michael Spavor, a businessman, on charges of espionage.

China also rebuked Canada a week ago over Ottawa’s criticism about the prosecution of the Canadians.

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