Detained ex-Canadian diplomat gets consular visit in China

ROB GILLIES
FILE - In this file image made from a video taken on March 28, 2018, Michael Kovrig, an adviser with the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based non-governmental organization, speaks during an interview in Hong Kong. Kovrig, a Canadian, disappeared days after Canada detained Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou. It's not uncommon for individuals who speak out against the government to disappear in China, but the scope of the "disappeared" has expanded since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2013. Not only dissidents and activists, but also high-level officials, Marxists, foreigners and even a movie star _ people who never publicly opposed the ruling Communist Party, have been whisked away by police to unknown destinations. (AP Photo/File)

TORONTO (AP) — Canadian diplomats have visited former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig for the second time since his arrest in China a month ago.

Canada's Global Affairs department on Thursday provided no further details on how Kovrig was being treated. He and entrepreneur Michael Spavor were detained on Dec. 10 on allegations of "engaging in activities that endanger the national security" of China.

The arrests came after a top Chinese Huawei executive was arrested in Canada on Dec. 1 at the request of the United States, which wants her extradited to face charges that she misled banks about the company's business dealings in Iran. She is out on bail in Canada awaiting extradition proceedings.

In an op-ed Wednesday, China's ambassador to Canada described the detentions of the Canadians as an "act of self-defense."

Canada said it would continue to seek further access to Kovrig and Spavor.

"The Canadian government remains deeply concerned by the arbitrary detention by Chinese authorities of these two Canadians since last month and continues to call for their immediate release," Global Affairs Canada said in a statement

Canada has embarked on a campaign with allies to win the release of the detained Canadians.

"Canada continues to express its appreciation to those who have spoken in support of these detained Canadians and the rule of law. This includes Australia, the EU, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, and, most recently, the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia," Global Affairs said.