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Canadian consular officials visit detained Canadian in China

January 9, 2019
FILE - In this file image made from video taken on March 2, 2017, Michael Spavor, director of Paektu Cultural Exchange, talks during a Skype interview in Yanji, China. Spavor, a Canadian, disappeared days after Canada detained Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou. It's not uncommon for individuals who speak out against the government to disappear in China, but the scope of the "disappeared" has expanded since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2013. Not only dissidents and activists, but also high-level officials, Marxists, foreigners and even a movie star, people who never publicly opposed the ruling Communist Party, have been whisked away by police to unknown destinations. (AP Photo/File)

TORONTO (AP) — Canadian consular officials have visited a detained Canadian in China who was arrested in apparent retaliation for the arrest of a top Chinese tech executive last month.

Global Affairs on Tuesday provided no further details on how entrepreneur Michael Spavor is being treated.

China detained Spavor and Canadian ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig on Dec. 10 on vague allegations of “engaging in activities that endanger the national security” of China. Kovrig has been granted just one consular visit while Spavor has now been granted two.

The arrests came after a top Chinese executive was arrested in Canada on Dec. 1 at the request of the United States. The U.S. wants Meng Wanzhou extradited to face charges that she and her company misled banks about the company’s business dealings in Iran. She is out on bail in Canada.

Canada has demanded China release the Canadians. The White House has called the detentions of the Canadians unlawful. On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to U.S. President Donald Trump and to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about the arrests of the two Canadians

“The Canadian government remains deeply concerned by the arbitrary detention by Chinese authorities of these two Canadians since last month and continues to call for their immediate release,” Global Affairs spokeswoman Amy Mills said.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said last month that Canada would embark on a campaign with allies to win the release of the detained Canadians. The U.S., the U.K. the EU and Australia have issued statements in support.

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