China's foreign ministry has blasted Canada and its allies for hypocrisy concerning their criticism of Beijing's detention of two Canadian citizens, with a spokeswoman mimicking Ottawa to say that it was the arrest of Huawei Technologies CFO Sabrina Meng Wanzhou that "truly merits the name of arbitrary detention".
Canada is communicating with China about how important it is to release the detainees, Trudeau said Saturday in reference to the two men taken into custody on security grounds earlier this month. "When the Canadians illegally detained a senior executive at a Chinese company at the request of the USA, where were they?"
She said Canada should correct its mistake by immediately releasing Meng and guarantee her legitimate rights while calling on the U.S. to take back her arrest warrant.
The two were arrested days after Canadian authorities arrested Meng Wanzhou, a senior executive with Chinese firm Huawei Technologies, at Vancouver's airport on December 1 after receiving an extradition request from the U.S.
"In my conversations with Chinese ambassador and in our conversation with Chinese officials, the Chinese officials have not directly made that connection" between Meng's detention and the arrest of the Canadians, Freeland said.
Six influential Berlin-based think tanks issued a joint statement last week calling for the allegations against the detained Canadian citizens "to be clarified by the relevant Chinese authorities" and urging "objective and fair treatment in line with worldwide standards".
Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor the two Canadians detained in China are shown in these 2018 images taken from video. THE CANADIAN PRESS AP
China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying dismissed these statements saying the countries seem to have "different human rights standards for citizens of different countries".
Hua called on Canada to "correct its mistakes" and immediately release Meng, and for the United States to withdraw its extradition request, saying that "the ugly nature and impacts of the Meng Wanzhou case can not be clearer".
According to his LinkedIn page, Kovrig previously served as a Canadian diplomat, with stints in Hong Kong and Beijing.
A Canadian court last week granted Meng bail. The United States - which is locked in a trade war with China - has accused her of fraud, in relation to violating sanctions on Iran.
Sources familiar with Kovrig's situation say he's been held without access to a lawyer, in a cell with the lights on around the clock, and questioned three times a day.
Later on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau restated his concern for Mr. Kovrig and Mr. Spavor, adding that Canadians and people around the world are "extremely disturbed" by China's detention of the pair.
She says Kovrig and Spavor's rights are being respected in Chinese custody. He is allowed only one consular visit from Canadian diplomats a month, and family and loved ones can not see him, the reports said.