Feds ‘deeply concerned’ by China’s arrests of Canadians Kovrig, Spavor

18 May, 2019, 04:11 | Author: Wade Massey
  • China's detention of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor on suspicions of espionage has inflamed tensions between Ottawa and Beijing

Canada's foreign affairs department said in a statement earlier that "Canada strongly condemns" China's "arbitrary arrest" of the two Canadians.

After holding Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in an undisclosed locations since December, China's confirmation of the formal charges came just as the USA government all but banned American companies from doing business with Chinese tech giant Huawei, a move that could badly cripple a firm considered by China to be a national symbol of industrial prowess.

"We will consistently and always stand up for Canadians, particularly these Canadians who have been arbitrarily detained", Trudeau said. "That will not change", Trudeau said when asked if he planned to talk to President Xi Jinping over the issue.

The two Canadian citizens detained in China on espionage allegations have been formally arrested, in a move likely to further chill relations between the two countries.

"The Chinese government is not following the same kinds of rules and principles that the large majority of democracies follow in regards to rules-based order, in regards to worldwide relations", Trudeau told reporters in Paris on Thursday.

"We will continue to defend these Canadians".

The two men - Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat, and Michael Spavor, a China-based businessman who organized trips to North Korea - were detained last December.

The two men have had regular access to both Canadian consular officials and their lawyers while in detention.

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"When Chinese businesses are wrongfully treated, China has the right to take measures to safeguard our legitimate and lawful rights and interests", he said. Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver at the request of the US They have since languished in China's opaque legal system, allowed sporadic visits by Canadian authorities, but denied access to lawyers.

Putting constraints on Huawei's supply chain could also delay its procurement of components and parts needed to help Chinese telecom operators roll out 5G in China, US brokerage Jefferies wrote in a note, unless Beijing manages to negotiate with Washington to help Huawei get out of "jail".

They could soon face trial, though it's not clear when that might happen.

Meng, 47, is the daughter of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's billionaire founder, Ren Zhengfei.

She was arrested at Vancouver's airport in December on a United States warrant and is fighting extradition on charges that she conspired to defraud global banks about Huawei's relationship with a company operating in Iran.

She has been ordered to wear an electronic anklet and hand over her passports after being released on bail in mid-December on a C$10 million (US$7.4 million) bond.

After a Canadian court pushed back a decision in Meng's case, the Chinese court also announced it would delay announcing whether Schellenberg would be put to death.

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