Date
22 April 2019
A file picture shows Michael Spavor arriving at the Beijing airport in January 2014. The businessman is one of two Canadians who have been detained by China in suspected retaliation for Canada's arrest of a Huawei executive. Photo: Reuters
A file picture shows Michael Spavor arriving at the Beijing airport in January 2014. The businessman is one of two Canadians who have been detained by China in suspected retaliation for Canada's arrest of a Huawei executive. Photo: Reuters

China grants consular access to second Canadian detainee

Canadian diplomats received consular access on Sunday to the second of two Canadian citizens detained by China over the past week, according to Canada’s foreign ministry.

Reuters quoted the ministry as saying in a brief statement that John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to Beijing, met businessman Michael Spavor, who had been held by China after Canada arrested a senior Chinese businesswoman.

Spavor and another Canadian, a former diplomat named Michael Kovrig, were both picked up after Canada arrested a senior Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, on a US extradition request.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said on Friday that the detentions were unacceptable, said in an interview aired on Sunday that his government is taking the situation very seriously.

“We have engaged with the Chinese officials to determine what exactly conditions are they being detained under? Why are they being detained?” he told CTV.

McCallum met Kovrig for the first time in Friday.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday that China should free the two men.

Spavor and Kovrig were detained after Canadian police arrested Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer Meng on Dec 1.

US prosecutors accuse Meng of misleading multinational banks about Iran-linked transactions, putting the banks at risk of violating US sanctions.

Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei’s founder, has said she is innocent.

Trudeau told CTV that Canada will continue trying to build up trading ties with China.

“We need to do so in a way that is true to our values and stands up for Canadians’ interests, and getting that balance right is complex. (It) has been made more difficult by recent trends,” he said.

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RC

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