China retaliated against Canada for criticizing Beijing’s national security law for Hong Kong, the second reprimand in a week that heightened tensions over their bilateral ties.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that Canada is suspending his extradition treaty with Hong Kong due to the law, and Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs has called the law “a significant setback” for freedom.
The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa said on Saturday in a statement on its website that Canada has “blatantly interfered” in Chinese affairs, adding that the new legislation would guarantee security in Hong Kong.
“Certain Western countries, including Canada, have interfered in Hong Kong affairs under the pretext of human rights, which seriously violate international law and the basic standards of international relations,” said a spokesperson in the communicated.
“The affairs of Hong Kong are entirely internal affairs of China and allow no foreign interference.”
China imposed the legislation this week despite protests from Hong Kong residents and critics from western countries, who said the legislation put the financial center on an authoritarian path.
Hong Kong officials said on Saturday that they were “very disappointed” with Canada’s suspension of the extradition treaty.
There were no immediate comments from Canada.
Relations between Beijing and Ottawa have been strained since 2018, when Canada arrested Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou on a US warrant.
After Meng’s arrest, China arrested Canadian citizens Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat, and Michael Spavor, a businessman, for spying.
China also berated Canada a week ago following Ottawa’s criticism of the lawsuits against Canadians.