Michael Kovrig took a leave of absence from Global Affairs Canada to work for non-governmental think tank International Crisis Group as an expert on North East Asia. (International Crisis Group)

Canadian officials visit detained former diplomat in China

Canadian diplomats in China visited for the fifth time on Monday one of their former colleagues detained by Chinese security services following the arrest in Canada of a top Chinese telecom executive last month, Ottawa announced.

Today, Canadian consular officials in China conducted a consular visit with Michael Kovrig,” said a statement from Global Affairs Canada.

Canadian consular officials continue to provide consular services to him and his family, and will continue to seek further access to Kovrig, the statement said.

No further information can be disclosed due to Canada’s privacy laws, it added.

Kovrig, who took a leave of absence from Global Affairs Canada to work as the North East Asia analyst for the non-governmental think tank International Crisis Group, and Michael Spavor, a China-based Canadian entrepreneur, were detained separately by Chinese authorities on Dec. 10.

Their arrest came days after Canadian officials arrested Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of telecom giant Huawei, at the request of U.S. authorities.

Meng, who is also the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, could face extradition to the United States over allegations she was involved in violating sanctions on Iran.

Chinese officials said Kovrig and Spavor are being investigated for “endangering national security.”

“The Canadian government remains deeply concerned by the arbitrary detention by Chinese authorities of these two Canadians since December 2018 and continues to call for their immediate release,” Global Affairs said.

“Canada continues to express its appreciation to those who have spoken in support of these detained Canadians and the rule of law.”

Canada has enlisted the moral support of its allies – Australia, the EU, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Spain, Denmark, and NATO – to secure the release of two detained Canadians.

Categories: International, Politics
Tags: , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

For reasons beyond our control, and for an undetermined period of time, our comment section is now closed. However, our social networks remain open to your contributions.