Jason Kenney Just Got Told Off For 'Interfering In China’s Internal Affairs'
Jason Kenney is in hot water with officials in China because of a recent Twitter post. On Saturday, April 18, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney posted a tweet expressing support for his friend Martin Lee, a politician from Hong Kong. Chinese diplomats in Calgary seemingly did not like this tweet and have since accused him of meddling in internal Chinese affairs.
The initial tweet that set off online disagreement was posted on Kenney's official account. He had posted a picture of himself and another man, both smiling for the camera.
He wrote, "Shocked to learn that my longtime friend Martin Lee, founder of the Hong Kong Democratic Party, was arrested today together with many of Hong Kong’s most prominent citizens."
Kenney noted that Lee is an elder statesman of Hong Kong democracy. "I hope for his immediate release," the tweet concluded.
The post did not sit well with Chinese officials residing in Alberta, who responded three days later on Tuesday, April 21.
In response, the Chinese Consulate General In Calgary made a post including a set of instructions on what local politicians should do in the matter of international relations.
Shocked to learn that my longtime friend Martin Lee, founder of the Hong Kong Democratic Party, was arrested today… https://t.co/h6y1yqsEq6— Jason Kenney (@Jason Kenney) 1587258233.0
The post began by saying that Kenney's tweet about the "lawful arrest" of Lee, who they then describe as an "Anti-China rioter," has prompted the following response from the Chinese Consulate General In Calgary.
"No one stays out of the law. Ignoring the facts and openly advocating for the rioters can only undermine the rule of law, which is not in Canada's own interests," the post read.
Narcity has reached out to Jason Kenney and the Chinese Consulate General in Calgary for comment. We will update this article when we receive a response.
https://t.co/35yFN2aIKd— Chinese Consulate General in Calgary (@Chinese Consulate General in Calgary) 1587481313.0
It then went on to read that they urge local politicians to "abide by basic norms" governing international relationships. They want these politicians to respect Hong Kong SAR law enforcement, and to immediately stop interfering in China's internal affairs.
He reportedly added that when a personal friend of his is arrested as a "political prisoner," he cannot stay silent.
Canada is concerned by the arrests of political figures in Hong Kong on April 18 in relation to popular demonstrati… https://t.co/kBpwU14p8J— François-Philippe Champagne (FPC) 🇨🇦 (@François-Philippe Champagne (FPC) 🇨🇦) 1587317779.0
Furthermore, Kenney told the National Post that he intends to make no apologies for speaking out in support of who he believes to be a great champion of human rights and democracy.
Kenney is not the only Canadian politician to speak out about Hong Kong, either.
Canada’s foreign affairs minister, François-Philippe Champagne, also posted about the protests in Hong Kong by urging both sides to exercise restraint and attempt a peaceful and inclusive dialogue to address legitimate concerns.