A second Canadian has been detained in China on charges of “suspected involvement in activities that jeopardize China’s national security,” increasing fears that Beijing is taking hostages in retaliation for the arrest in Vancouver of a top Chinese business executive.
Chinese media, citing local security officials, reported that both Michael Kovrig, an analyst for the International Crisis Group, and Michael Spavor, who runs cultural exchanges with North Korea, were detained on Monday.
Both men worked for non governmental organizations and appear to have been picked up for violating China’s strict new rules aimed at controlling the work that foreign NGOs do in China.
Canada’s foreign minister declined to draw a line between the men’s detention and the court battle going on over whether to grant bail to Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer at Huawei Technologies who was arrested for extradition to the United States.
But analysts say that it is becoming increasingly apparent that these are acts of reprisal. 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.”
Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s foreign minister, said that “Canada is deeply concerned” and had raised the cases directly with Chinese officials.
By Anna Fifield, Amanda Coletta ·(c) 2018, The Washington Post ·
Dec 13, 2018