Canadian parliamentarians go to China in spite of tensions

Jan 07, 2019, 00:06
Canadian parliamentarians go to China in spite of tensions

The updated advisory first issued past year comes amid increased tensions between China and the U.S. after the arrest of a Chinese technology executive in Canada. - A second Canadian who had gone missing in China is under investigation on suspicion of "engaging in activities that harm China's national security", state media reported on December 13.

The rights of foreign nationals in China have received renewed focus because of public concern over the fate of three United States citizens accused of committing "economic crimes" in the country.

All 13 Canadians were detained after the ruling Chinese Communist Party vowed to retaliate for the arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, wanted for questioning by investigators in the US over alleged bank fraud linked to the breach of sanctions against Iran.

China's prosecutor-general said the two accused of endangering national security had violated the law "without a doubt".

China has said that Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are being held on grounds of threatening national security.

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McIver returned to Canada last month.

A delegation of lawmakers from Parliament Hill are set to leave for China on Friday, where they intend to ask about the detentions and push for the men's release.

Canada announced on Thursday that 13 of its citizens had been detained in China since Meng was detained on December 1.

"I do not have information to provide you here", Lu said about, who previously worked as a Canadian diplomat in and elsewhere.

What do we know of the recent detentions?

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"US citizens may be detained without access to United States consular services or information about their alleged crime". US prosecutors have accused Meng of misleading banks about transactions linked to Iran, putting the banks at risk of violating sanctions.

The detentions were confirmed by a Canadian government official, according to the newspaper.

Neither China nor Canada have directly linked the two men's cases, but they led to speculation of retaliation for Meng's arrest. They have only been granted limited access to Canadian consular services.

Cynthia and Victor Liu, the children of a former executive at a Chinese state-owned bank who is accused of fraud, were prevented from leaving China past year despite being American citizens.

She faces extradition to the United States to face fraud charges, which she denies, that are linked to allegations of avoiding USA sanctions on Iran.

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