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Canada slams China detentions; foreign minister to press Pompeo

Canada slams China detentions; foreign minister to press Pompeo

Earlier this week China detained two Canadian citizens, allegedly firing back at Canada that previously had arrested top Chinese execituve on behalf of the U.S., that wanted her extradition, The Washington Post reported.

China threatened "grave consequences" if Meng was not immediately released, in a strong message delivered to Canadian Ambassador John McCallum when he was called into the Chinese Foreign Ministry last weekend to receive Chinese protests.

Following Meng's December 1 arrest, which the U.S. ordered over allegations the executive committed financial fraud with the aim of skirting USA sanctions on sales to Iran, Chinese authorities seized the two Canadians this week for allegedly "endangering national security".

"Canada was granted consular access to Michael Kovrig".

The Global Affairs Department said Canadian officials have raised the case of both men directly with Chinese authorities. A North Korea specialist, Spavor once met leader Kim Jong-un and runs an NGO that arranges cultural exchanges with the hermit kingdom.

"The detention of two Canadian citizens is unacceptable, they ought to be returned", Pompeo said.

"We always believe in that, we'll always work on it, and we'll do it in this case as well", the state secretary said.




"When the USA stepped back, China stepped up (on battling greenhouse gases)", McKenna told reporters this week from the United Nations climate change summit in Poland. She was released on $10-million bail on Tuesday after being detained on December 1 at the request of the United States.

Yet a Thursday editorial in China Daily, the Communist Party's foreign-facing mouthpiece newspaper, rejected claims that the recent arrests were in any way retaliatory.

"We look forward to meeting again to continue building people-to people ties and strengthening the tourism relationship between Canada and China - a relationship that creates good jobs for middle class families and opportunities for people in both countries", Ghio said.

Trump said this week he might intervene in the extradition request if that would serve national security interests or help close a trade deal with China, prompting Freeland to warn Washington it should not politicize such matters.

That suggestion sent shock waves through Washington, with Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday calling the Republican president's remarks "deeply disturbing".

She said any remarks from the USA could be used by Meng's lawyers at her extradition hearing. "Canada does not do it that way".

Trudeau addressed the Chinese capture of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in a television interview Friday morning. "Due to the provisions of the Privacy Act, no further information can be disclosed".

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