China Formally Charges 2 Canadians with Stealing State Secrets

Meng Wanzhou seen here as she leaves her home in Vancouver last week was arrested in Canada at the request of the U.S

Meng Wanzhou seen here as she leaves her home in Vancouver last week was arrested in Canada at the request of the U.S

A pair of Canadians, who have been detained in China since previous year, have been formally arrested and charged.

Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor were detained on December 10, accused of gathering and stealing "sensitive information and other intelligence" since 2017.

"We will continue to work with our allies and work directly with China to ensure that they understand that we are a country of the rule of law, and we will allow our legal processes to unfold independently while at the same time we will always stand up for Canadians and will continue to", he said. "That will not change", Trudeau said when asked if he planned to talk to President Xi Jinping over the issue.

Spavor, a businessman based near the China-North Korea border, and Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat and geopolitics researcher, were first detained by Chinese state security on December 10, a week after Canadian airport authorities detained senior Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at the behest of USA law enforcement.

"The Chinese government is not following the same kinds of rules and principles that the large majority of democracies follow in regards to rules-based order, in regards to worldwide relations", Trudeau told reporters in Paris on Thursday.

The coincident timing confirmed many China watchers' suspicions that China is using the Canadian citizens to retaliate for USA actions against Huawei.

The men were detained separately in December in a move seen by some in the West as retaliation for the arrest of Huawei Technologies Co chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver at the request of the US. They were recently arrested, according to both Chinese and Canadian officials.

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"Canadian consular officials have made recent consular visits to the two men and will continue to provide consular services to them and their families".

"We reiterate our demand that China immediately release Mr Kovrig and Mr Spavor".

"Everything in China is done in accordance with law", Lu, the Chinese government spokesman, told reporters Thursday.

"But we will also make it very clear that we're not going to change our values or our systems, including the independence of our justice system, because China disagrees with our approach". Having been formally arrested, the two are likely to face trial soon.

She was arrested at Vancouver's airport on a US warrant and is fighting extradition on charges that she conspired to defraud global banks about Huawei's relationship with a company operating in Iran. She has been living in a Vancouver home.

Meng is allowed to live in her Vancouver mansion, although her mobility is limited.

After a Canadian court pushed back a decision in Meng's case, the Chinese court also announced it would delay announcing whether Schellenberg would be put to death.

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