Eli Ridder | Report
China is believed to have detained a second Canadian on Wednesday, over what authorities cite as national security reasons amid raising tensions between Ottawa and Beijing after the earlier arrest of a Huawei executive, Canada’s foreign minister said.
Canadian businessman Michael Spavor, who worked with North Korea, was reported missing during an evening press conference put on by Minister Chrystia Freeland, and Reuters reports that he has been detained due to national security concerns.
Canada has been unable to contact Mr. Spavor since he notified the Canadian government that he was being questioned by Chinese authorities, a foreign ministry spokesman said in statement issued late on Wednesday.
Friends of Spavor told Reuters he was due to fly out of Dalian on a Korean Air flight to South Korea at 2:05 p.m. local time on Monday but had not arrived.
Spavor is known to the Canadian community in China, and to quite a few journalists, for facilitating trips into North Korea, including high profile athletes like Denis Rodman, CBC’s Katie Simpson said.
It follows the Dec. 11 arrest of former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig, who state media report is being investigated “on suspicion of engaging in activities that harm China’s state security”.
Canadian authorities brought Hauwei Technologies Co Ltd Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou into custody Dec. 1 on the request of the United States Justice Department.
U.S. prosecutors accuse Meng of misleading multinational banks about Iran-linked transactions, putting the banks at risk of violating U.S. sanctions, a charge Meng says she is innocent of.
Foreign Minister Freeland warned the U.S. not to politicize extradition cases, a day after President Donald Trump said he could intervene in Meng’s custody.
Trump told Reuters on Tuesday he would intervene in his Justice Department’s case against Meng if it would serve national security interests or offer a tit-for-tat trade solution with China.
Freeland said it was obvious the legal process should not be hijacked for political purposes and that Meng’s lawyers would have the option of raising Trump’s remarks if they decided to fight extradition.
Image of Chrystia Freeland from CTV News on Twitter.