3rd Canadian detained in China, Global Affairs says

Third Canadian detained in China - report

3rd Canadian detained in China, Global Affairs says

Global Affairs Canada confirmed today that a Canadian citizen had been detained but offered no other details, citing the Privacy Act.

"There is unimpeded consular communication between China and Canada, and China will provide necessary assistance for Canada to perform its consular duties normally", she said.

The other two Canadians - Michael Kovrig, a diplomat on leave, and Michael Spavor, an entrepreneur who works throughout Asia and makes frequent trips to North Korea - were arrested by the Chinese government because of "national security" concerns.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Global News' Mercedes Stevenson in an exclusive interview, that he hasn't raised the detention of three Canadians over the last week with his Chinese counterpart.

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She is the third Canadian being held after the arrest in Vancouver of Weng Manzhou, chief financial officer of telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co., at the request of the USA, which wants her extradited on allegations related to sanctions against Iran.

Trudeau said that such discussions between countries are inherently fragile and need to be approached in a tempered way.

Although several Canadian officials commented to various media outlets that they have no reason to think the third detention is linked to the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, virtually every media outlet and commentator seems to assume there is at least some connection to China's fury over Meng's arrest.

China has in the past detained Canadians when Ottawa cooperates with USA extradition requests, as it did in 2014 when a Chinese businessman, Su Bin, was arrested in Canada on United States espionage charges. The arrest was made at the request of the United States, which is engaged in a trade war with China. "If I ever spoke to him and he said no, what is my next move?" Two is bad. Three underlines how ruthless China can be.

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Global Affairs Canada has said John McCallum, Canada's ambassador to China, met with Kovrig on Friday and Spavor on Sunday. Following the incident, National Defence officials reportedly had "contact with the Chinese Air Force operating" in the region.

Meng is out on bail in Vancouver while she awaits a hearing on extradition to the United States. She is due back in court in February, for what is expected to be a lengthy legal proceeding.

Two others were taken into custody shortly after Canadian police arrested a top Chinese telecom executive on a US warrant December 1.

Meng was detained at the request of the US, which accuses Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment to Iran in violation of USA sanctions. "The allegations of national security problems, even objectively, are very different from a routine case or a problem with a visa or something of that nature", CBC quoted Trudeau as saying at a year-end conference on Wednesday (local time).

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