A Chinese flag is illuminated by sunshine in the Hall of Honour on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday September 22, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Closed meeting on Hill between MPs and Chinese officials planned, then cancelled

An all-party House of Commons committee of elected MPs planned a closed-door meeting with a delegation of Chinese politicians and diplomats on Parliament Hill that was abruptly cancelled today.

An all-party House of Commons committee of elected MPs planned a closed-door meeting with a delegation of Chinese politicians and diplomats but abruptly cancelled it today.

A former Canadian ambassador to China says the meeting was a bad idea in the first place because holding it in-camera meant a lost opportunity for Canada to show Beijing how a democracy really works.

The meeting was cancelled one day after Canada’s new top spy told a business audience that interference by hostile states has now become a greater threat to Canadian national security than terrorism.

The Commons foreign-affairs committee had planned to meet in-camera for one hour on Thursday with Lu Shaye, Beijing’s ambassador to Canada, and four visiting members of the National People’s Congress of China.

The congress is China’s legislature, consisting of nearly 3,000 deputies.

A spokesman for the committee’s Liberal chair said China cancelled the meeting, but he dismissed further questions about why it was initially closed to the public.

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