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Canada and China, in the spotlight and shadows

After a public confrontation during the G20 summit, we look at how China is accused of secretly meddling in Canada — including alleged espionage and election interference.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping after taking part in the closing session at the G20 Leaders Summit in Bali, Indonesia on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

On the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia last Wednesday, a tense face-to-face confrontation between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese President Xi Jinping drew international headlines. Xi accused Trudeau of leaking the contents of their previous discussions to the media.

The encounter was a decidedly public reflection of the countries' fraught relations when mounting allegations of Chinese meddling in Canada are causing further strain.

Earlier this month, a Global News report alleged China funded Canadian candidates to influence the 2019 federal election. Last week, a Hydro-Québec worker was charged with spying for China. And the RCMP say they're investigating what have been called Chinese "police" stations set up inside Canada.

Today, CBC senior writer J.P. Tasker returns to explain the allegations, how Parliament is responding, and how Canada could change its path forward with China during this historic low point in relations.

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