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Chinese foreign ministry tells U.S., EU to take Canada to task for Meng arrest

Michael Kovrig (left) and Michael Spavor, the two Canadians detained in China, are shown in these 2018 images taken from video. People around the world are "extremely disturbed" by China's detention of two Canadians, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in Mali this weekend as he called for Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor to be released. Canada is communicating with China about how important it is to release the detainees, Trudeau said Saturday in reference to the two men taken into custody on security grounds earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP

OTTAWA — China’s foreign ministry says the United States and Europe should be complaining about Canada’s arrest of a top Chinese business executive.

Spokeswoman Hua Chunying says the detention of Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer is a much bigger international offence than China’s own arrests of two Canadians, including a former diplomat.

In the last few days, officials from the United States, Britain and European Union have joined Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s complaints about the arrests of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in apparent retaliation for Meng Wanzhou’s arrest in Vancouver.

Hua says Canada should “correct its mistakes” and stop acting at the behest of the United States, which wants Meng extradited to face fraud charges.

She says Kovrig and Spavor’s rights are being respected in Chinese custody.

Sources familiar with Kovrig’s situation say he’s been held without access to a lawyer, in a cell with the lights on around the clock, and questioned three times a day.

The Canadian Press