Canadian lawmaker Jenny Kwan said Monday that she had been a target of Chinese government interference. Screen capture/Global News/YouTube
May 30 (UPI) -- A Canadian lawmaker said that Canada's top spy agency has warned that her that she's been a target of Chinese government interference.
Jenny Kwan, who was born in Hong Kong, told reporters Monday that Canadian Security Intelligence Service told her in a briefing that she is being targeted by Beijing.
"CSIS has confirmed with me that I am being targeted for foreign interference and will continue to be a target," she said.
Kwan, a parliament member from Vancouver, said that she believes she is being targeted because of her advocacy for Hong Kong's independence.
"I will stand firm with the people who are fighting for basic human rights, stand firm with the people of Hong Kong," she said. "I will not be intimidated. I will not be silenced in any way. Whoever is trying to put pressure on me in whatever way they are trying to do it, they will not succeed."
Kwan said she could not say what form the interference took but told Politico that there was not an immediate threat to her security.
"While I cannot share classified information from my briefing with CSIS, it is clear that there is no indication of any physical threat against me or my family," she said.
Kwan said that she and other targets including fellow MP Michael Chong and other "everyday Canadians" that are targets of Chinese interference should have been made aware that they were targets "the minute intelligence authorities know about this."
Earlier this month, Canada and China expelled each other's diplomats in a tit-for-tat exchange following allegations that a Chinese ambassador harassed a Canadian lawmaker.
Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly announced that it declared China's diplomat in Toronto Zhao Wei persona non grata "after careful consideration of all factors at play."
The moves came after the Canadian Security Intelligence Service determined Zhao was connected to harassment facing Chong and his family in Hong Kong over his complaints of Beijing's treatment of the Uyghur minority there.
"I have been clear: We will not tolerate any form of foreign interference in our internal affairs," Joly said in a Twitter post. "Diplomats in Canada have been warned that if they engage in this type of behavior, they will be sent home."