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Canadian diplomats in China meet detained citizen, Michael Spavor

  • The meeting came a day after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Donald Trump discussed China’s detention of Spavor and Michael Kovrig
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2019, 1:16am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2019, 10:54am

Canadian diplomats in China on Tuesday met the second of two citizens who were detained last month after the arrest of a senior Chinese executive in Vancouver, the Canadian foreign ministry said.

“Today, Canadian consular officials in China visited with Michael Spavor,” the ministry said in a statement that provided no further details. It was Spavor’s second visit by Canadian officials.

Officials met Michael Kovrig on December 17.

Canadian authorities arrested Huawei Technologies chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou on December 1 on a US extradition warrant. Beijing denounced the move and threatened reprisals unless the case against Meng was dropped.

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“The Canadian government remains deeply concerned by the arbitrary detention by Chinese authorities of these two Canadians since last month and continues to call for their immediate release,” the foreign ministry said in the statement.

The spat is threatening to increase global tensions at a time when Washington and Beijing are already locked in a trade war.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to US President Donald Trump on Monday and the two leaders agreed to continue pressing Beijing to free Spavor and Kovrig, Trudeau’s office said in a statement.

Trudeau and Trump discuss China’s ‘unlawful’ detention of two Canadians, agree to seek their release

Although Canada says China has made no specific link between the detentions and Meng’s arrest, experts and former diplomats say they have no doubt Beijing is using the cases of the two men to pressure Ottawa.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse