A third Canadian citizen has been detained in China

A third Canadian citizen has been detained in China

China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Thursday a Canadian woman had received an administrative penalty for illegal employment.

Canada says it is now seeking more details on the detention.

He added that the government is taking the most recent case seriously and that it's looking into details that don't "seem to fit the pattern of the previous two".

The news initially caused concern among some China-watchers, who suspected that the case could be connected to two previous arrests of Canadians in China this month.

The other two Canadians - Michael Kovrig, a diplomat on leave, and Michael Spavor, an entrepreneur who works throughout Asia and makes frequent trips to North Korea - were arrested by the Chinese government because of "national security" concerns. "Consular officials are providing assistance to the family", she said.

The Canadian Government has said several times it saw no explicit link between the arrest of Ms Meng, the daughter of Huawei's founder, and the detentions of Mr Kovrig and Mr Spavor.

He said officials are working to get more details.

Two other prominent Canadians have been arrested in China this month, following the high-profile detention of Meng.

The United States holds its place as the world's largest economy, followed by China, although the latter has a larger GDP when measured by PPP.

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Pressed by public broadcaster Radio-Canada why he had not personally intervened in the cases by calling China's President Xi Jinping, he said on Tuesday: "In global politics, it is always better to proceed by degrees".

All 3 arrests follow the detention of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou on December 1 in Vancouver on a USA request. It has demanded her release and warned of serious consequences for Canada.

China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and China-based business consultant Michael Spavor on December 10.

In response, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said it was not aware of any arrest.

The participation of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei in building Canada's fifth generation wireless network will be decided following the advice of Canadian security and intelligence experts, not for reasons of political expediency, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday. "The real danger to China comes from Michael's arbitrary arrest and detention for these will have a chilling effect on people wanting to visit and engage with the country". Obviously, if there were no connection, those who object should no more reflect on Canada's actions than they should reflect on the actions of, say, Saudi Arabia.

Mulroney said it would be a problem for Canada and China.

Meng has since been released on bail and is to return to court in February for what most legal observers predict could be a long, drawn-out legal process.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called last Friday for China to release the Canadians, saying their detention was "unlawful" and "unacceptable".

Ms Meng has been granted bail but may face extradition to the USA on charges of violating American sanctions on Iran through Huawei's business dealings.

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