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China Arrested Two Canadian Citizens Over National Security Issues Amid Row Over Huawei CFO Arrest

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China Arrested Two Canadian Citizens Over National Security Issues Amid Row Over Huawei CFO Arrest

On December 13th, China confirmed the arrest of two Canadian citizens, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said during a press conference.

Both Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have been accused of endangering Chinese national security. When Lu Kang was asked regarding their accusations his response was the following:

“The information I have is that on December 10, the Beijing State Security Bureau and the State Security Bureau of Dandong City, Liaoning Province have respectively taken compulsory measures on Canadian citizens Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in accordance with the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China and the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China on suspicion of engaging in activities that harm China’s state security. These cases are still under investigation. The Beijing State Security Bureau and the Liaoning State Security Department have respectively informed the Canadian Embassy in China of these cases. The legitimate rights of these two people are guaranteed.”

Furthermore, there were questions regarding both Canadians’ work with being related to North Korea. Kang refused to provide any detail if whether the “endangerment of Chinese national security” was somehow related to North Korea.

He was, expectedly, also asked if the investigations and detainment of the two Canadians is related to Canada’s arrest of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou.

“As for Canada’s wrongful detention of Ms. Meng Wanzhou, we have made clear our position. As for these two Canadian citizens who have been taken compulsory measures by China’s state security authorities, I can assure you that the Chinese side will act in accordance with laws and regulations,” Kang said.

To the question whether China would release the two Canadian citizens if Meng Wanzhou was released, Kang was adamant in China’s position that the Canadians were lawfully arrested, while Wanzhou was detained wrongfully:

“I have made my points pretty clear. On the case of Meng Wanzhou which is a wrong move made by the Canadian side, we ask the Canadian side to immediately correct its mistake and release Ms. Meng Wanzhou. As for the cases involving two Canadian citizens, I have already told you that China’s state security authorities have taken compulsory measures in accordance with law.”

He also repeatedly reiterated that China’s arrests were not politically motivated.

A journalist also claimed that unnamed reports claimed that Canadian business people in China are having difficulties with some of their business dealings with Chinese companies. Kang responded that he had heard no such thing and that “it does not sound like our Chinese people’s way of doing things.”

He avoided every other question regarding the Canadian citizens, saying that they are under investigation and, as a result, most details cannot be revealed as of yet.

Canadian officials said they are aware of the situation and are in dialogue with the Chinese side.

“We are aware of the situation of the Canadian detained in China,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters. “We have been in direct contact with the Chinese diplomats and representatives. We are engaged in a file which we take very seriously and we are of course providing consular assistance to the family.”

Global Affairs Canada spokesman Guillaume Bérubé said no further information can be disclosed “due to provisions of the Privacy Act,” in a statement to the National Post.

Guy Saint-Jacques, who left the post of Canadian ambassador in Beijing just over two years ago, told the Post he worked with Kovrig from 2014 to 2016. According to him Kovrig would be charged with espionage over political research he did for the Canadian Embassy in Beijing, which included speaking with political dissidents.

“Michael’s work was doing detailed political reporting. We created a special program at Global Affairs about 15 years ago to deepen it, and with that, the idea was to ask an officer to look at fewer files, give him a budget. Michael travelled quite a bit in China, he travelled to Xinjiang a number of times and did some great reporting. But of course in China, the line between doing good political reporting and espionage can be very tiny.”

The other arrested Canadian is Michael Spavor, the founder of a Paektu Cultural Exchange, focused on opening up international ties with North Korea.

“Based in China and Canada, Paektu promotes travel to North Korea, including a five-day trip to Pyongyang for 2019 New Year celebrations with visits to hot springs and the de-militarized zone.”

Despite China’s denial of any such claims, many speculate that the arrests are in retaliation of Canada arresting a Chinese citizen.

Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada on December 1st, after the US accused her of breaching the US sanctions on Iran.

Trump admitted that Wanzhou’s deportation to the US and her release could be used as a bargaining chip in the US-China trade war.

On December 8th, Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng summoned Canadian Ambassador to China John McCallum. The purpose was “to lodge solemn representations and strong protests against the detention.” Le also strongly urged Canada to release Wenzhou, otherwise “it will definitely have grave consequences, and the Canadian side will have to bear the full responsibility for it.”

On the following day, Le Yucheng urgently summoned the US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad to once more express China’s condemnation of Wanzhou’s arrest.

Le also pointed that what the US side had done “severely violates Chinese citizen’s legitimate rights and interests, and is vile in nature.” And reiterated that China urges the US to immediately undertake corrective actions and rectify the situation.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Canadian Minister of Defense Harjit S. Sajjan are to hold a bilateral meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on December 14th. It is expected that the main topics discussed would be the detainment of Meng Wanzhou by Canada and the detainment of the two Canadian citizens by China.

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  • #’~A*QXm(>NRmm]w?dU4vXZ

    Excellent tit for tat, and if China decides to tighten the screws a bit more Canada will really feel the pain – it has not yet understood its economy is a lot more fragile than the US economy so China can really kick them where it hurts.

  • Concrete Mike

    Why did you idiots get into the usa china spat??

    We got enough problems as it is…

    • You can call me Al

      Stupid is, what stupid does.

  • 1691

    I find it hilarious that the Canadian ministers are not talking to the Chinese counterparts but to Pompeo and Mattis. Poor diplomats. Useful idiots. Used condoms.
    China is responding accordingly and protecting its citizens. Big difference.

    • Concrete Mike

      I know….our foreign affairs department is infected with ukro nazies ( look uo our foreign minister…freyland). Is anyone surprised.

  • hvaiallverden

    The good thing if any, and I have pity for the woman and here family, but the eventuall fall out from this is something much “better”, again, they cant help it, rope feeding them self, its maybe arrogance, ignorance, an combo of both, humped with some shekles, yeah, what really pleases an grump old fart like me, is that this kicks open the narrative we have known for an loonng time, the Canadians are creepy bastards, and have shown an level of total sumbission to an criminal state, that leaves me in awe, and on top of it, to attack China, and to have an what, bargain chip.

    This bullshit isnt taken from uh….. the TV, huh, Pirates of the Caribien, well, nothing surpirces me anymore, and my jaws hurt.

    There are time one can just sit down an enjoy the freak show, and as always what it realy takes off, I enjoy the explanations, specaly regarding law and what is the presence, yeah, an refugee have rights, natives have non, and what on earth did this woman really do, to an nation they didnt have restictions against, but explanations from an regime that conducts war crimes an mass, and attacks as they them self have admitted, to crush the Iranian people, and somehow, even when most of the world dont agrees, on yapping lunacy coming from the free range asylum, on the dictrict of criminals on the riverbanks of Potomac.
    Yeah, Canada, thanks, now its official.

    And again an rule of thumbs, never belive anything until its been officialy denied, not always but once used the next one is much easier.

    And we have an pack of patologiacal liars everywhere, and in the WHs its remarkably packed with this scums of this earth.

    peace

  • skinner15

    It seems giving shelter to Nazi war criminals hasn’t worked out too well in the long term for Canada.

    China should send weapons and support to free Quebec. Liberty for all, and all that.

    • Concrete Mike

      Hehe you know what that not a bad idea.

      Except its 30 years late, Quebec sovereingty movement is effectively dead.

      #1 I am not quebecois tabarnak!!!
      #2 Quebec is canada like canada is quebec. Thats how it is.
      #3 the nazis live mostly in the western provinces. Their influence is strong in the whole anglophone community of the country, the francophones hate and reject most of what unilingual nazi anglophones say.

      There are francophone fascists, but it is exponentially smaller than the number of fascist anglophones.

      Every other day I call guys out on the job site for being fascists. The ignorance is overwhelming at times.

      • skinner15

        I don’t think the Yanks give a hoot about the legality or morality of the Uighurs claims against China, or moderate rebel claims in Syria, or Nazi claims of Russian invasion of Ukraine.

        The main point is it gives the Yanks something to use to promote strife and trouble within the regions of the perceived enemies of the US.

        What goes for the US, could be good enough for China with its economic might being mirrored in their military.
        China could find a whole host of problems in Canada, like Native rights, French separatists, no matter how small. If Canada allows the US to use its police to arrest Chinese citizens, then the near future could see like for like retaliations with Chinese sponsored groups resembling ISIS in ferocity, but in Western nations.

  • occupybacon

    This made for the entire NATO block to punish China, EU was reticent. Now they have no choice.

    • Bob

      What rubbish. The US just used Canadian territorial police to kidnap a Chinese business executive – who also happens to be the daughter of the founder of the Huawei Corporation. This is kidnap and ransom – nothing else. The executive was in Vancouver airport in transit from Hong Kong to South America – this means her movements were being targeted and tracked by US intelligence. As for the allegations against her, US domestic sanctions against Iran have no international standing and do not dictate terms of international trade, or Chinese policy. State targeting and kidnapping of foriegn business executives is an act of stupidity – if not desperation – and an act of war against Chinese state, business and citizenry all at once.

      • occupybacon

        Please tell me something new.

  • verner

    yes tit for tat, either they let the huawei cfo go or the canadians won’t be heard from for the next 30 years.

    and the disorganised shi..theads of america are busy concocting a charge which is valid since the claim that she breached a sanction is totally invalid. the disunited ars..eholes of america can go and fu..ck themselves since the charge is wholly illegal! talk about being between a rock and a hard place so let’s hope the canadian pm makes a clever decision.

  • Bob

    The US act of kidnapping a Chinese business executive in the Vancouver airport – who was in transit from Hong Kong to South America – is actually an act of political desperation. The Huawei Corporation have developed electronic products that nullify everything the US deep state has been working toward since the Patriot Act legalized the US state to spy at will on anyone and everything. Huawei mobiles and tablets use an encryption software that NSA has simply been unable to break – and unlike Apple/Microsoft/Google will not just hand over the backdoor codes to their encryption system. This means current captive western market for mobiles that are government accessible, now has a major competitor whose products are beyond state control. The western states – primarily US – understand ramifications of this and seek to exclude Huawei from their markets to maintain their full digital control. To illustrate the market significance of Huawei’s products – the Syrian state is in process of switching over to Huawei mobiles for government personnel and has issued orders for later to use them exclusively in government communications – so their communications are are not compromised by NATO eavesdropping.