China Detains Former Canadian Diplomat After Arresting 100 Christians and Their Pastor

China Detains Former Canadian Diplomat After Arresting 100 Christians and Their Pastor

A paramilitary police officer cycles past the embassy of Canada in Beijing on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, China detained two Canadian nationals - Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor - over allegations they were involved in activities endangering national security.

"While my work obligations have typically required that I travel extensively, I always try to spend at least 2-3 weeks in Vancouver every summer", she said in court documents.

Now that Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou has been released on bail in Vancouver - a common sense decision that reflects her health concerns and bona fides - attention will turn to next steps in the case involving USA allegations against her. In a video published Thursday, Hu Xijin, editor of the nationalist Global Times newspaper, warned in English that China's revenge against Canada "will be far worse than detaining a Canadian".

Former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and business consultant Michael Spavor on Monday were put under "compulsory measures", Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Lu Kang (陸慷) said, using a term that would usually mean they are in custody.

Lu said Thursday Spavor is under investigation by China's state security bureau in Dandong. Spavor has ties to the Kim regime in North Korea and arranges tours for Westerners to there, including the famous visits by Dennis Rodman. He gained fame for helping arrange a visit to North Korea by former National Basketball Association player Dennis Rodman.

Spavor is the second Canadian to be detained in China following the December 1 arrest in Vancouver of Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou.

She was released on Can$10 million (US$7.5 million) bail by a court in Vancouver on Tuesday pending a United States extradition hearing.

Canada's ambassador met in Beijing Friday with a detained former diplomat for the first time since he was arrested in China amid sharpening East-West tensions over trade and other issues. "We are working with our traditional partners-they are Ericsson and Nokia".

It would be "up to Ms Meng's lawyers whether they choose to raise comments in the United States as part of their defense of Ms Meng", Freeland said.

VANCOUVER/HONG KONGHuawei executive Meng Wanzhou, released on bail on Tuesday to await a ruling on US extradition at one of her luxury Vancouver homes, may have received welcome ammunition in court from an unlikely source - US President Donald Trump.

Mr Lu said the "legal rights and interests of these two Canadians have been safeguarded" and that the two cases were being investigated separately.

"When the US stepped back, China stepped up (on battling greenhouse gases)", McKenna told reporters this week from the United Nations climate change summit in Poland.

Trump earlier drew fire for intervening on behalf of Chinese telecommunications company, ZTE, after it was accused of selling equipment to Iran and North Korea.

Mr Lu said Ms Meng's arrest was "wrong practice", adding: "I can point out that, since the Canadian government took the wrong action at the request of the USA and took Meng Wanzhou into custody, many Chinese are wondering if their trips to Canada are safe".

China is the second-biggest buyer of softwood lumber products and companies have increasingly looked to the Asian market as a destination for shipments amid Canada's ongoing softwood lumber dispute with the U.S.

"We are working hard to ascertain his whereabouts and we continue to raise this with the Chinese government".

Freeland said that details of the visit by Canada's ambassador to China, John McCallum, had been shared with Kovrig's family, but she declined to disclose more information, citing the need to respect Kovrig's privacy. Su pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nearly four years in prison.

"President Trump has made it clear that old alliances don't matter so much anymore", she said.

The suggestion Meng could be a political pawn makes the situation more awkward for Canada.

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