China says expulsion of Canadian diplomat was 'just and necessary'

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Illustration shows printed Chinese and Canada flags

BEIJING (Reuters) - The expulsion of a Canadian diplomat was "just and necessary", a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday.

China expelled a Canadian diplomat in Shanghai on Tuesday in a tit-for-tat move after Ottawa told a Toronto-based Chinese diplomat to leave , escalating already tense relations amid concerns about Chinese influence in Canada.

"China never interferes in other countries' internal affairs. The expulsion of a Chinese diplomat violates rules governing international relations," spokesperson Wang Wenbin told a regular press briefing.

"The expulsion of the Canadian diplomat was just and necessary. China's determination to protect its legitimate interests will not waver," he added.

(Reporting by Eduardo Baptista; Writing by Bernard Orr; Editing by Andrew Heavens)