Canada's dilemma over Meng Wanzhou and Huawei


Kovrig served under Saint-Jacques as a political officer at the Canadian embassy in Beijing from 2014 to 2016 before taking a leave from Canada's foreign service after his two-year posting to remain in the country because, Kovrig told the ambassador, "he loves China so much".

"Canada and China mutually agreed to postpone the Canada-China Year of Tourism Closing Ceremony and Minister Joly's planned travel to China", her office said in a statement.

Business activities are always affected by changes in politics and the economy, Liu Ying, a research fellow at Renmin University of China, told Global Times, adding that Canada, as a sovereign state, should not have intervened in the matters surrounding Meng. "The Canadian government is seized of this case and will continue to speak with the Chinese government".

On Tuesday, Canadian officials learned that former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig was being detained and late Wednesday, a Chinese government news website confirmed that local authorities had Spavor in custody.

Lu said Thursday Spavor is under investigation by China's state security bureau in Dandong. Mr. Spavor met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on that trip. He has met with its leader Kim Jong Un and arranged some of retired National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman's trips to the country.

China has warned that "many" of its citizens are now afraid to travel to Canada, fearing they could be targeted after the arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, British Columbia.

She said any remarks from the US could be used by Meng's lawyers at her extradition hearing.

"But as a business woman, I'm anxious this case will affect the relationship between Canada and China, and affect our export businesses in the future".

Canada has also been able to grab a bigger slice of China's wheat and soybean market as the Asian nation feuds with the U.S. Soybean shipments have almost doubled to 1 million tons between August and October while wheat exports rose 97 per cent to 397,200 tons, Canadian Grain Commission data show.

Asked whether Meng's arrest and Kovrig's subsequent detention an ocean apart might be merely coincidence, Guy Saint-Jacques, Canada's former ambassador to Beijing, was clear.

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Spavor runs tours of North Korea along with sports, business and other exchanges through his company, Paektu Cultural Exchange. The CFO faces possible extradition to the US but has been released on bail of $10 million Canadian dollars ($7.5 million).

A US -based friend of his told Reuters that Spavor was involved in a few projects in North Korea, including sporting exchanges and trying to broker investment, though given United Nations sanctions that was a challenge.

"The legal rights of the two Canadians are being safeguarded", Lu told reporters at a daily briefing.

The justice minister could deny the United States request if they deem "it has been made for an improper goal", said one official.

And one-third of foreign students in Canada are Chinese.

ICG had earlier this week reported Kovrig's arrest, while Ottawa on Wednesday said that it had not heard from Spavor since he was questioned.

Canadian officials say a wide range of topics was planned for their talks, including Russia-Ukraine tensions and issues related to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, but the ongoing tensions with China will definitely be on the table. Su pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nearly four years in prison.

U.S. President Donald Trump said he would intervene in the case against Meng if it means reaching a trade deal with China.

"And I believe it is obvious that democratic countries, such as our partner, the U.S., do the same", she said.

Freeland said on Friday that it was "very important for Canada that extradition agreements are not used for political purposes".