Canadian Newspaper: Third Canadian Detained in China

December 19, 2018

Canada's National Post newspaper says a third Canadian has been detained in China.

The Post said it learned about the detention from a source in Canada's Foreign Ministry. A spokesperson for the ministry told the newspaper it was aware of a Canadian citizen being detained, but did not provide further details.

A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry told reporters in Beijing she was unaware of the report.

Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and business consultant Michael Spavor were detained earlier this month after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer for Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies, on December 1.

U.S. officials say Meng lied to banks about Huawei's control of Hong Kong-based Skycom a company that allegedly sold U.S. goods to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions against Tehran.

A Canadian judge freed her on bail last week while she awaits a hearing on extradition to the United States. Beijing has angrily demanded that Canada free Meng from all the charges or face "grave consequences." Meng is the daughter of Huawei's founder, one of the world's biggest manufacturers of mobile phones.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry says Kovrig and Spavor are being investigated on suspicion of endangering China's national security. Ottawa says there is no direct link between Meng's arrest and the detentions of the two Canadians, but Guy Saint-Jacques, Canada's former ambassador to Beijing, disputes that notion, telling reporters last week that "in China there is no coincidence."

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