Former Canadian diplomat detained in China

Michael Spavor is the head of Paektu Cultural Exchange which organises trips to North Korea
Michael Spavor is the head of Paektu Cultural Exchange which organises trips to North Korea

12 December, 2018

The high-powered Chinese tech executive accused of helping her company evade United States trade sanctions reportedly told the courts this week that she would pay for her own 24-hour surveillance team and wear a tracking device if it meant she'd be granted bail.

Kovrig is a former Canadian diplomat posted to Beijing.

That message was echoed by Larry Kudlow, the head of Trump's National Economic Council, who told "Fox News Sunday" that the Huawei case and the trade discussions were different "and I think President Trump and President Xi will continue to keep that difference".

While the foreign minister did not mention the Huawei CFO in his speech, he did warn the U.S. that "there is no need to artificially create new opponents" at a time when both countries are trying to strike a trade deal.

What's happening to him "has happened to a succession of other people", including missionaries, teachers, investigators and human rights workers, said David Mulroney, who was Canada's ambassador to China from 2009-2012.

While Meng secured her release, the International Crisis Group (ICG) think tank said its North East Asia senior adviser, former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig, was detained by Chinese state security in Beijing on Monday night.

The Brussels-based non-governmental organization said in a statement it's doing everything possible to obtain additional information about Kovrig's whereabouts and that it will work to ensure his prompt release.

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"If they are not registered and their workers are in China undertaking activities, then that's already outside of, and breaking, the law, revised just past year, on the management of overseas non-governmental organisations operating in China", Lu said.

The defence argued that Meng had ties to Vancouver which included two homes she owned with her husband Liu Xiaozong in Vancouver's affluent Dunbar and Shaughnessy neighbourhoods.

Meng, 46, was arrested December 1 at Vancouver's airport - the same day President Donald Trump met Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of a summit in Argentina.

Analysts have suggested that the arrest of Meng, who has been compared to Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, could harm ongoing trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing. She has said she is innocent and will contest the allegations in the United States if she is extradited.

The judge said that Wanzhou must also return to court on Wednesday, February 6th, 2019 to fix a further date in these proceedings.

Meng was arrested in Vancouver during a flight transfer while traveling from Hong Kong to Mexico.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, whose arrest in Canada two Saturdays ago increased tensions between the US and China, has been freed on bail. "Unfortunately Canada is caught in the middle of this dispute between the U.S and China". She was arrested in Canada on December 1 on a USA extradition request. Companies are barred from using the US financial system to funnel goods and services to sanctioned entities.

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