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One year later, suspicious detention of two Canadians continues to strain relations with China

Last Updated Dec 7, 2019 at 9:07 am PST

Chinese Ambassador to Canada Cong Peiwu answers reporters questions following a luncheon speech in Montreal, Thursday, December 5, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Summary

The suspicious detention of two Canadians in Beijing continues to strain relations with China

China's ambassador is dismissing claims two Canadian men are suffering nearly a year after they were arrested in Beijing

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Two Canadian men are still locked up in Beijing nearly a year after they were detained in what’s believed to be retaliation for the arrest of a Huawei executive in Vancouver last year.

Since December 10, Michael Kovrig’s family and colleagues have been begging for his safe return, but the North East Asia advisor for the International Crisis Group remains imprisoned in Beijing, along with businessman Michael Spavor.

China’s Ambassador to Canada, Cong Peiwu, denies both men are pawns in a diplomatic dispute involving U.S. government plans to prosecute Meng Wanzhou.

“The Chinese competent authorities have arrested two Michaels, but because they are suspected of endangering China’s national security.”

He’s also rejecting reports they’ve been treated poorly and he’s deflecting questions about when their cases will actually be heard.

“We have our judicial system, so the competent authorities are handling the case strictly according to law and the legitimate rights of those two persons are fully ensured and guaranteed.”

The ambassador, who’s only been in Canada about two months, has renewed demands to halt the extradition of the Huawei executive accused of violating US sanctions against Iran.

Unlike the two Michaels, Meng Wanzhou is currently out on bail and has been living under house arrest at her Vancouver mansion.

Cong continues to insist her human rights have been violated and she should immediately be allowed to go home.