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Chinese ambassador warns Canada against adopting motion calling for sanctions

Last Updated Dec 5, 2019 at 6:23 pm PDT

Chinese Ambassador to Canada Cong Peiwu answers reporters questions following a luncheon speech in Montreal, Thursday, December 5, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

MONTREAL — China’s ambassador to Canada is threatening what he called “very firm countermeasures” should Parliament adopt a motion calling for sanctions against Chinese leaders.

Ambassador Peiwu Cong reacted today to comments by two Conservative senators who are planning to table a motion next week calling on the Trudeau government to impose sanctions on China for its alleged human rights abuses.

Cong told reporters in Montreal that if the Senate and House of Commons were to adopt such a motion, it would be a serious violation of Chinese domestic affairs.

Senator Leo Housakos told Maclean’s magazine earlier this week he and Senator Thanh Hai Ngo think Canada needs to show leadership on democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Canada-China relations have been strained since Dec. 1, 2018, when RCMP arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver’s airport, at the request of the United States.

Days later, two Canadians — Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig — were detained in China on allegations of undermining national security, and the two men continue to be held in that country.