Third Canadian detained in China

Dec 21, 2018, 02:19
Third Canadian detained in China

"Global Affairs Canada is aware of a Canadian citizen detained in China", ministry spokeswoman Maegan Graveline told AFP, without providing further details. "But we are looking into the details (of) this most recent (arrest) that doesn't seem to fit the patterns set by the previous two, but we'll have more to say as we collect the facts on this issue".

She says Canadians who study or do business in China may want to "lie low and keep a low profile".

The news initially caused concern among some China-watchers, who suspected that the case could be connected to two previous arrests of Canadians in China this month.

Days later, two Canadians were detained in Beijing for allegedly endangering China's national security.

Consular officials are providing assistance to the detainee's family, Global Affairs Canada said.

Canadian teacher Sarah McIver
Canadian teacher Sarah McIver

"We are, of course, taking any and every situation seriously, as we always do", Trudeau said.

If confirmed, the third detention will further raise the tensions between China and Canada.

The United States holds its place as the world's largest economy, followed by China, although the latter has a larger GDP when measured by PPP.

"We've only got the preliminary indications ... that it's not linked to a matter of national security for the Chinese".

Lynette Ong, with the Munk School of Global Affairs in Toronto, says Canada's relationship with China fundamentally changed with the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of tech giant Huawei in Vancouver on December 1. On December 14, Wanzhou was released on bail; the stir her arrest has created is larger than one could have anticipated and according to CNBC, "it immediately hit United States stocks and sent global markets into a tailspin".

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"The very public manner of putting pressure on Canada to violate its own system of governance for the benefit of the Chinese Communist Party has opened peoples' eyes to how China views worldwide relations", said Peter Dahlin, the director of Safeguard Defenders, which tracks China's detention of people during investigations.

"There can be no doubt that Michael is exhausted and stressed", said Hugh Pope, a spokesman for International Crisis Group, when asked about Mr. Kovrig's condition.

Mulroney said it would be a problem for Canada and China.

The Australian paper said the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, comprising of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom and the USA, met in Nova Scotia in July to discuss what to do about Huawei.

The second source said the Hungarian embassy in Beijing was treating it as a consular case and going through the "normal process", also confirming consular access had not been granted.

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Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor were both taken into custody in China shortly after the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, at the request of the USA, in Vancouver on 1 December.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying identified the third Canadian as Ms Sarah McIver, who was serving " administrative punishment" due to "illegal employment".

Meng was released on bail last week in Vancouver pending a USA extradition hearing on fraud charges in the United States related to alleged sanctions-breaking business dealings with Iran.

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