Detained Canadians in China get rare consular access
TORONTO (AP) - The Canadian government announced on Saturday that China had granted consular access to two detained Canadians in China for the first time since January.
The global affairs division said Dominic Barton, Canada's ambassador to China, received virtual consular access to Michael Spavor on Friday and virtual consular access to Michael Kovrig on Saturday.
"The Canadian government remains deeply concerned about the arbitrary detention of these two Canadians by the Chinese authorities since December 2018 and continues to call for their immediate release," a government statement said.
Canada continues to urge Beijing to release Kovrig and Spavor, both detained since December 2018, after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, a Chinese Huawei official and the company's founder's daughter. Canadian police arrested Meng nine days before Kovrig and Spavor were arrested in Vancouver, following a US extradition request.
The US is filing for Meng's extradition for fraud and their extradition proceedings are in the Canadian courts. Her arrest severely damaged relations between China and Canada.
Neither Kovrig, a former diplomat, nor Spavor, an entrepreneur, were allowed to visit consular officers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke about the two Canadians in a phone call with US President Donald Trump on Saturday and thanked the President for the US's continued support in finding their release.
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