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Consular officials get fourth meeting with Canadian detained in China

Last Updated Feb 26, 2019 at 12:10 pm PDT

In this image made from video taken on March 2, 2017, Michael Spavor, director of Paektu Cultural Exchange, talks during a Skype interview in Yangi, China. Global Affairs Canada says it has had a second meeting in as many days with Canadians detained in China since December. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP

OTTAWA — Global Affairs Canada says it has had a second meeting in as many days with Canadians detained in China.

In a written statement, the department says consular officials in China visited with entrepreneur Michael Spavor on Tuesday for the fourth time since his arrest.

On Monday, the department said it had a fourth consular visit with Michael Kovrig, a Canadian diplomat on leave from the foreign service.

Both men were detained by China in December on allegations they violated national security.

Global Affairs Canada says it can’t release any more specific information about the meetings due to privacy laws.

The department says consular visits generally involve assessing the well-being of a Canadian citizen, getting them medical attention where required, and being a communications bridge between the Canadian and their loved ones.

The statement says the government remains concerned by China’s “arbitrary detention” of Spavor and Kovrig and continue to call for their immediate release.

Kovrig and Spavor haven’t been formally charged with anything, have been denied access to lawyers, and are allowed only monthly access by Canadian diplomats.

Canadian officials have complained the two are being held in retaliation for the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou under an extradition request from the United States.