Canada’s Trudeau says he spoke to Xi about Chinese ‘interference’

Canada’s Trudeau says he spoke to Xi about Chinese ‘interference’


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday he had spoken with President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali on the issue of Chinese interference in Canadian affairs.

Ottawa has in recent weeks accused the Chinese government of interfering with its democratic institutions and judicial system after years of strained relations between the two countries.

“I raised the issue of interference with our citizens,” Trudeau said at a news conference on the Indonesian resort island.

Trudeau met Xi on Tuesday, the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since 2019.

He said he told the Chinese leader, who secured a historic third term last month, “it’s important to be able to have a dialogue about this.”

Canada’s federal police said Thursday they are investigating so-called police stations illegally set up by China in the North American country.

Trudeau also said last week China was playing “aggressive games” after Canadian broadcaster Global News reported on a “clandestine network” of federal election candidates funded by Beijing.

“It’s extremely important that we continue to stand up for the things that matter to Canadians,” Trudeau told reporters.

He said he also highlighted “areas of common interest and geopolitical challenges” in his conversation with Xi, including the war in Ukraine and tensions on the Korean peninsula.

China’s foreign ministry on Wednesday declined to confirm details of the talk between the two leaders. Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said she had no information when asked about the meeting.

Footage captured by Canadian journalists at the Bali summit on Wednesday appeared to show Xi expressing dissatisfaction with the report of the meeting that Trudeau shared with the media.

“Everything we discussed leaked to the newspapers, it’s not appropriate,” Xi said of Trudeau in the video shared on Twitter by a CTV reporter.

“And that’s not how the conversation was conducted,” Xi says.

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