Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

United States issues new China travel warning amid detentions

United States issues new China travel warning amid detentions

This is the highest level Canadian delegation to visit China since Michael Kovrig, a diplomat on leave from Global Affairs employed by the International Crisis Group in Beijing, and Michael Spavor, an entrepreneur who organized trips to North Korea, were arrested on December 10.

Overall, there are about 200 Canadians who have been detained in China for a variety of alleged infractions who continue to face on-going legal proceedings.

Regarding a very slight number of foreigners suspected of violating laws and committing crimes in China, the Chinese authorities have always impartially handled cases in accordance with the law, and safeguarded their legal rights and interests, he added.

Kovrig and Spavor were detained shortly after Canadian police arrested Meng, Huawei's chief financial officer, on December 1 in Vancouver at the request of the United States.

This after a Huawei CFO, who awaits extradition to the US for misleading banks about transactions linked to Iran violating sanctions against that country, is out on bail and living in her Vancouver mansion. Since then two Canadian citizens have been detained by Chinese authorities, pending investigation.

Beijing has only given vague details about the detention of the two Canadians, and hasn't drawn a direct link to Meng's arrest. It has demanded that Canada free her and threatened unspecified consequences if it does not. She has been released on bail and is living in an upscale Vancouver home in advance of her extradition hearing.

Russian Federation detains American in Moscow over alleged spying
Even before the allegations of election meddling, suspected spy incidents have been a frequent feature of U.S. -Russia relations. Earlier in December, Norwegian citizen Frode Berg was detained in Russian Federation for similar charges of espionage .

"It's not advancing any objective other than the goal of further raising doubts about China's reliability as a country that's going to follow the rule of law". Pompeo publicly calls on China to release Kovrig and Spavor.

Backed by the United States and several European countries, Canada's foreign minister Chrystia Freeland has repeated called for the immediate release of Kovrig and Spavor, whose arrests Ottawa has termed arbitrary.

Malley said he won't speculate on why Kovrig was detained, only to say it has nothing to do with his work as an analyst for the Crisis Group.

In comparison, there are nearly 900 Canadians in a similar situation in the United States, the official added. A source familiar with the conditions of Kovrig's detention says he is questioned three times a day and kept in a room with the lights on continuously.

After news broke of Kovrig and Spavor, Minister of Tourism Melanie Joly postponed a planned trip to China to attend a tourism event at the last minute.

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