18:43 GMT28 October 2020
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    TORONTO (Sputnik) - China's Ambassador to Canada Cong Peiwu urged Ottawa during a video conference not to grant asylum to Hong Kong protesters.

    While Canada has not publicly broached the idea, there is speculation that the ongoing diplomatic spat between Ottawa and Beijing could spur such action.

    "We strongly urge the Canadian side not [to] grant so-called political asylum to those violent criminals in Hong Kong", the ambassador said on Thursday as quoted by the Canadian Press.

    The Chinese ambassador said if Canada is interested in the safety and prosperity of Hong Kong residents, including some 300,000 Canadian nationals, it would support law and order in the special administrative region.

    China has blasted Australia's and the United Kingdom's suggestion to offer safe haven to Hong Kong residents following the enactment of China's law on national security in the special administrative region that has sparked mass protests.

    Sino-Canadian relations soured after the Canadian authorities detained Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in 2018 at the request of the United States to which China responded by the arrests of two Canadian nationals on charges of espionage in China.

    The tense relationship has been further exacerbated by Canada's condemnation of the newly enacted Chinese law on national security in Hong Kong and a suspension of some bilateral agreements with the special administrative region.

    Beijing has said that it reserves the right to respond to any interference by Canada and hold Ottawa accountable for all consequences.

    diplomat, asylum, Canada, China, protests
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