China Detains Former Canadian Diplomat After Arresting 100 Christians and Their Pastor

China Detains Former Canadian Diplomat After Arresting 100 Christians and Their Pastor

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters in Beijing Thursday that business consultant Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig were both detained Monday on suspicion of "engaging in activities that endanger the national security of China".

The state security bureau in the northeastern Chinese city of Dandong, which borders North Korea, has been investigating Spavor since December 10, an official news site for the Liaoning Province government said.

Kovrig, who works for the International Crisis Group (ICG) think tank, was being investigated by the Chinese Ministry of State Security, while the agency's office in Liaoning Province was handling the probe into Spavor, Lu said. Kovrig had been reported as missing earlier this week.

Lu said Canada was informed about the detentions, but declined to say whether the men have been provided with lawyers.

Meng can appeal both a committal order and a surrender order and in such a case, the two appeals might be heard at the same time by the B.C. Court of Appeal.

The Canadian Embassy has been notified of the detentions, he added, declining to provide further details of the investigations.

Mr Trump told Reuters he would intervene in the US Justice Department's case against Ms Meng if it would serve national security interests or help close a trade deal with China.

Escalating tensions have stoked concern that some companies could see their markets upended after the Chinese threatened "severe consequences" following the arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver at the request of USA authorities.

'Boycott Canada Goose! Release Ms Meng!' One typical comment posted onto the company's official Weibo account read.

Meng was detained on December 1 and has been accused of misleading financial institutions about her multinational's projects with Iranian telecommunications companies in violation of global sanctions.

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China blamed Canada for fanning public outrage by arresting Huawei Technologies Co. executive Meng Wanzhou earlier this month, as Beijing continued to ramp up pressure on the US ally.

It may be that consumers are unaware that these brands are Canadian, whereas there's no mistaking Canada Goose's origins.

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland said the government had raised his case with Chinese authorities. In a video published Thursday, Hu Xijin, editor of the nationalist Global Times newspaper, warned in English that China's revenge against Canada "will be far worse than detaining a Canadian".

"When the USA stepped back, China stepped up (on battling greenhouse gases)", McKenna told reporters this week from the United Nations climate change summit in Poland.

Phone calls, messages and emails to Spavor went unanswered.

The detention of two Canadian citizens in China is unacceptable and they must be returned, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a press briefing on Friday with Secretary of Defense James Mattis and their Canadian counterparts.

Spavor is the founder of a Paektu Cultural Exchange, focused on opening up worldwide ties with North Korea. The website for the organization says it is "a non-profit social enterprise" dedicated to cross-cultural exchanges, trade, and investment between North Korea and "international organizations, businesses, and individuals to promote greater peace, friendship, and understanding".

It also says it maintains an "array of contacts" within North Korea and is "nonpolitical". He is known for having organised American basketball star Dennis Rodman's visits to North Korea, and for having met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

That pressure is part of the national security review of T-Mobile's $26 billion deal to buy US rival Sprint, the sources said.

Although valued at a hefty Can$5.6 million, the house - on a large corner lot with a view of the Pacific coast city´s majestic north shore mountains - does not stand out as particularly ostentatious.