China has detained 13 Canadians since Huawei exec arrest

Thirteen Canadian citizens have been detained in China since Canadian authorities arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on Dec 1st.

Global Affairs Canada spokesman, Guillaume Bérubé, said in a statement that “at least” eight of the 13 had been released, but didn’t reveal the identities of the other 10 Canadians currently detained in China.

Prior to the statement, only three of the 3 detainees had been disclosed since Canada arrested Ms Meng.

Canadians detained in China

The detainees include ex-Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig, Canadian businessman Michael Spavor, and Sarah McIver, a Canadian teacher from Alberta.

McIver, who was detained earlier last month for a work-permit issue related to her teaching job, has returned to Canada after being released from custody.

The Canadian government has said that it does not see the link between the arrest of Meng and the detention of Canadian citizens. The government has demanded the “immediate release” of Mr Spravor and Mr Kovrig.

Endangering China’s national security

But, according to China’s prosecutor general, Zhang Jun, the pair had “without a doubt” violated the law by endangering China’s national security.

Zhang said investigations had been handled “strictly” according to the law and did not reveal when the two might be charged.

Ms Meng has been released on a C$10m ($7.5m) bail on Dec 11th and is currently living at one of her houses in Vancouver while she awaits extradition to the United States.

The US State Department has warned American citizens to “exercise increased caution” when traveling to China as tensions begin to reignite over the arrest of Ms Meng.

China travel advisory

The new advisory warns that dual US – Chinese nationals are at risk from exit bans.

Chinese authorities have asserted broad authority to prohibit US citizens from leaving China by using ‘exit bans,’ sometimes keeping US citizens in China for years the advisory said.

“China uses exit bans corrosively: to compel US citizens to participate in Chinese government investigations to lure individuals back to China from abroad and to aid Chinese authorities in resolving civil disputes in favor of Chinese parties”.

In response to the travel advisory, foreign ministry, spokesperson Lu Kang said on Friday that China welcomes all foreigners, including Americans, He said that China will always protect visitors’ safety and legal rights, but they must abide by the laws.