Canada’s foreign ministry on Thursday confirmed China’s detention of Michael Spavor, a Canadian national and China-based business consultant who facilitates trips to North Korea. That news came three days after Ottawa was informed that Michael Kovrig, a Canadian diplomat on leave working as a senior adviser with International Crisis Group, had been arrested in Beijing. China suspects both men of “engaging in activities that threatened China’s national security”, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said, without clarifying whether the two cases are related. The accusation is the sort generally levied by China in affairs of espionage.
Some observers believe the two men's fates are related to the Vancouver arrest of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, on December 1.
“The Chinese have a track record of retaliation in situations like this,” Brian Kingston, VP of international policy at the Business Council of Canada, told the New York Times. “Our response has to be that retaliation is pointless ... that this is not a Canada-China issue. We are responding to a US request.”
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