Another Canadian was placed in detention by Chinese authorities as the international fallout from the arrest of the chief financial officer of Huawei, a Chinese tech giant, in Vancouver deepens.
The incident comes after the arrest by Chinese authorities of two other Canadians – businessman Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig – which in turn came in the wake of the detention of Meng Wanzhou, the Huawei CFO.
During a press conference, Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, said that his primary focus is the best interests of the Canadians who are being held.
He stated: “Political posturing or political statements aren’t necessarily going to contribute … They might actually hinder Canadians’ release. We’re going to take every situation carefully and seriously.”
He continued: “Canadians understand that even though political posturing might be satisfactory in the short term to make yourself … feel like you’re stomping on a table and doing something significant, it may not directly contribute to the outcome we all want, which is for these Canadians to come home safely.”
Last week, Lu Kang, the spokesperson of the Chinese government, said that the two Canadians were being investigated on suspicion of harming the national security of China, and said that the Canadian embassy had been notified.
Lu informed reporters: “The legal rights and interests of these two Canadians have been safeguarded.”
The spokesperson added: “These two cases are in the process of being investigated separately.”
The arrests were generally interpreted as a retaliation for the detention of Wanzhou in Canada on the 1st of December at the request of the United States, which is still involved in a trade dispute with China. The latest incident will potentially turn up the heat on an already tense diplomatic situation.
However, the Canadian government has repeatedly said that it sees no explicit connections between the arrest of Wanzhou, daughter of the influential founder of Huawei, and the arrests of Spavor and Kovrig.
Wanzhou is alleged of misleading banks regarding the transactions that are linked to an Iranian firm, putting them at risk of violating the sanctions of the United States on the Middle Eastern country.