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Chinese authorities say third Canadian detained over employment issues

Last Updated Dec 20, 2018 at 7:50 am PDT

FILE: Michael Spavor, director of Paektu Cultural Exchange (left) and Michael Kovrig (right) have been arrested in China. (AP/The Canadian Press)

OTTAWA – Chinese authorities say they have detained a Canadian woman over employment issues.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Thursday morning that the woman was given an administrative penalty for illegal employment, but did not provide further details.

Hua says the most recent case differs from the detention of two Canadian men, who were taken in early last week for allegedly endangering China’s national security.

RELATED: Third Canadian detained in China not believed to be linked to other arrests: PM

The statement supports Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s comments yesterday that it didn’t appear the case was linked to the recent arrests of the two other Canadians in China.

He says the government is taking the most recent case seriously, and that it’s looking into details that don’t “seem to fit the pattern of the previous two.”

Conservative M-P Erin O’Toole says the latest case involves an Alberta woman who has been teaching in China for months and has been held over a visa irregularity.

He declined to give any additional information about the woman, but some news outlets reported she is a teacher named Sarah McIver.