With tech exec arrest, Canada squeezed between China, US

Huawei executive gets bail in case rattling China ties

Chinese police stand guard in front of the Canadian embassy in Beijing on December 13.

Accused of sanctions busting and forced to abide by a curfew and wear an ankle bracelet as she awaits possible extradition to the United States, China's "Princess of Huawei" could be said to have fallen spectacularly from grace.

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland said the government had raised his case with Chinese authorities.

Hu Xijin, editor of the state-backed Global Times, a nationalistic tabloid, said on the Weibo social media platform the Chinese government would never concede that the Canadians' detentions were related to Meng's case.

His disappearance emerged after former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig was detained by state security during a visit to Beijing on Monday.

China's foreign ministry later confirmed it had detained Michael Spavor, an entrepreneur who works throughout Asia and makes frequent trips to North Korea.

Ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig now works for a think-tank, the International Crisis Group (ICG), which has said it is concerned for his health and safety.

The Canadian foreign ministry identified the second Canadian as Michael Spavor, a China-based business consultant who facilitates trips to North Korea, met with its leader Kim Jong Un and famously arranged some of retired National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman's visits there.

China on Thursday confirmed it has detained two Canadian men, raising the stakes in a three-way global dispute over the case of a Chinese telecoms executive facing possible extradition from Canada to the United States.

This TV image provided by CTV shows Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou as she exits the court following the bail hearing at British Columbia Superior Courts in Vancouver, British Columbia, Dec. 11, 2018.

"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".

Canadian Foreign Ministry spokesman Guillaume Bérubé said in a statement that the authorities are working hard to ascertain Spavor's whereabouts and would continue to raise the issue with the Chinese government.

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"Conversely, since the Canadian government's wrongful detention of Ms Meng Wanzhou under U.S. direction, many Chinese are weighing whether it's safe to travel to Canada".

Lu said Canada was informed about the detentions, but declined to say whether the men have been provided with lawyers.

Spavor has regularly escorted foreigners on trips to North Korea through Paektu Cultural Exchange, the non-governmental organization he founded in 2015.

The U.S.is seeking her extradition on allegations she committed fraud by participating in a scheme to evade that country's trade sanctions in Iran. "If they want to send you a message, they will send you a message".

"The unlawful detention of two Canadians is unacceptable, they ought to be returned", he said.

China called the USA ambassador to make a formal protest over the issue.

The United States has been pressuring Canada for several months to ban Huawei equipment from its future 5G cellular networks over security concerns.

First U.S. President Donald Trump attacked Canada on trade.

Ms Meng faces up to 30 years in prison in the United States if found guilty of the charges, the Canadian court heard.

If there's something Canadians of all political stripes can agree on, it's that their fellow citizens should not be unjustly detained on foreign soil, says Canada's leader of the official Opposition.

"I was surprised at the amount of vitriol I´d gotten from supporters of Meng, saying she should be released", Justin Fung, whose parents immigrated from Hong Kong in the 1970s, said on Twitter.

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