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Foreign Minister Melanie Joly attends the G20 foreign ministers' meeting in New Delhi on March 2.Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

China’s Foreign Minister took his Canadian counterpart to task during a G20 meeting this week over allegations his country interfered in Canadian politics, as lawmakers in Ottawa continue to push for a public inquiry that could be deeply embarrassing for Beijing.

Speaking to Mélanie Joly in New Delhi, Qin Gang urged Canada to do more to “prevent rumours and hype from disturbing bilateral ties,” according to an account published by Chinese state media Friday. He insisted accusations of Chinese meddling were a “groundless fallacy,” adding China “has never meddled with other country’s internal affairs, and opposes such attempt by any country.”

A spokesman for Global Affairs Canada confirmed Ms. Joly met with Mr. Qin. “She was direct, firm, and unequivocal – Canada will never tolerate any form of foreign interference in our democracy and internal affairs by China,” Adrien Blanchard said.

He added Ms. Joly told her Chinese counterpart Canada will “never accept any breach of our territorial integrity and sovereignty,” nor any “breach by Chinese diplomats of the Vienna Convention on Canada’s soil.”

The pair were speaking at a meeting of G20 foreign ministers — including Russia’s Sergey Lavrov — that was derailed by arguments over the war in Ukraine. Participants could not agree on a joint statement, with Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar eventually issuing a “chair’s summary,” in which all states but Russia and China agreed to condemn the war.

Allegations of interference in Canadian politics by China have dominated the political debate in recent weeks after The Globe published a series of reports based on documents prepared by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

Those included allegations China used disinformation campaigns against federal Conservatives and provided undeclared cash to preferred candidates. The documents also said friendly business owners hired international students, studying in Canada, to work as campaign volunteers, and illegally returned portions of donations so donors were not out of pocket after claiming a tax receipt.

The government maintains the results of the 2019 and 2021 elections were not affected by any attempts at interference, even as the Conservatives argue as many as nine of their MPs may have been defeated as a result. Opposition lawmakers have repeatedly called for a public inquiry into the matter, something Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has so far ruled out.

Appearing before a House of Commons committee investigating Chinese interference on Thursday, CSIS head David Vigneault said a probe was underway to find those who leaked information about the spy agency’s findings, and suggested the whistle-blowers may have been frustrated by the federal government’s handling of Beijing’s intrusion into the democratic process.

Mr. Qin’s rebuke of Ms. Joly, and Beijing’s decision to make it public, are reminiscent of a public confrontation between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of another G20 meeting, last November in Bali, Indonesia.

Mr. Trudeau had been left off Mr. Xi’s busy diplomatic schedule at that conference, the first major summit the Chinese leader attended since the beginning of the pandemic. After a brief aside between the two men, which was not acknowledged by Beijing, Mr. Trudeau’s office briefed Canadian media that he had raised concerns about Chinese interference with Mr. Xi.

The following day, Mr. Xi was caught on camera berating Mr. Trudeau, complaining “everything we said has been leaked to the papers – that’s not appropriate.”

With files from Robert Fife and Steven Chase

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