China Takes ‘Coercive Measures’ Against Canadian Friend of Kim Jong


"Huawei Canada will continue to work collaboratively with the Canadian government, carriers and other domestic stakeholders to take whatever steps are needed to ensure and protect the integrity of Canada's national telecommunications infrastructure, including the rollout of 5G technology".

Two Canadian citizens have been arrested by Chinese security services on suspicion of harming China's national security.

China had warned of "revenge" for the arrest of Meng, especially if Canada extradited her to the US.

Chrystia Freeland, Canada's foreign minister, said that her country has raised the two citizens' cases directly with Beijing.

Canadian officials have made contact with one of two Canadians being detained by Chinese officials, accused of endangering national security.

Michael Spavor - who was photographed years ago by Reuters sharing a cocktail with Kim on the dictator's private boat after racing around the waters near one of his resorts - now joins former diplomat Michael Kovrig in Chinese custody.

Canada's foreign ministry on Thursday confirmed China's detention of Michael Spavor, a Canadian national and China-based business consultant who facilitates trips to North Korea.

China has reacted angrily to Canada's arrest on December 1 of Chinese executive Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, and Spavor's investigation is likely to escalate the diplomatic row.

On Tuesday, a Canadian judge released Meng from jail after a bail payment of $10 million.

"But as a business woman, I'm anxious this case will affect the relationship between Canada and China, and affect our export businesses in the future".

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Ontario Canada Dec 12 2018. REUTERS
China Detains Former Canadian Diplomat After Arresting 100 Christians and Their Pastor

In the cases of both men, Freeland said, the Canadian government's "immediate concern has been to gain consular access to them and to understand what the charges are being put on them by the Chinese authorities".

US officials have briefed allies that Huawei is ultimately at the beck and call of the Chinese state, while warning that its network equipment may contain "back doors" that could open them up to cyber espionage.

ICG has said that it has not received any information about Kovrig since his arrest.

Spavor is a well-known figure within the DPRK-watching community, with his privately-run NGO Paektu Cultural Exchange (PCE) frequently bringing delegations in-country to examine business opportunities in North Korea. She is accused of violating USA sanctions on Iran.

Pompeo said the detention of nationals overseas was something that "weighs on those of us who serve to try to make sure that our citizens do have the opportunity to return home to their families".

Canadian foreign ministry spokesman Guillaume Bérubé confirmed that Mr Spavor had contacted it earlier in the week because "he was being asked questions by Chinese authorities".

"But the use of a complete set of laws to prove the rationale for arrest is one and the same as what the USA and Canada did to Meng Wanzhou", he wrote. The impetus is on Trudeau to "act very early on this" and send a high-level message to the Chinese president, he said, but did not specify what that message should be. If convicted, she faces more than 30 years in prison.

Meng made a brief appearance at the front door earlier when she said goodbye to three people who left in a auto with diplomatic licence plates.

The United States and China have emphasized that trade talks are separate from Meng's case, though President Donald Trump said Tuesday he would intervene if it would help produce a deal.

Canada's relationship with Donald Trump has reached a "new level of frustration" after the US president's comments this week on the arrest of Huawei's chief financial officer, says a senior source.

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