Global Affairs Canada has revealed that 13 Canadians have been detained in China following the December 1st, 2018 arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou.
Guillaume Bérubé, spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada, confirmed the detentions to The Globe and Mail. Previously, only three Canadians were known to be held in China in the wake of Wanzhou’s arrest.
The Canadians were picked up after China threatened to retaliate against Canada for arresting Wanzhou. In an email to The Globe, Bérubé confirmed that eight Canadians have since been released. Global Affairs has so far only released the identities of three of the detained — Michael Kovrig, Michael Spavor and Sarah McIver. McIver is one of the eight Canadians who have been released, although Kovrig and Spavor continue to be held by China.
However, these are only the number of detainees that has been officially confirmed by Global Affairs. The Globe also reports that about 200 Canadians have been detained in China for a variety of alleged infractions, according to a government source who was unauthorized to speak publicly. The source says the number of detainees has remained relatively the same over the past few years.
The tensions between Canada and China have continued to mount since Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver in response to a United States request to extradite her. Wanzhou faced charges related to fraud and was granted bail on December 11th after a three-day hearing.
Wanzhou is currently facing extradition to the U.S., which alleges that the Huawei executive attempted to evade U.S. trade embargoes against Iran.
Source: The Globe and Mail