China to ‘protect the rights’ of 13 Canadians detained since Huawei CFO’s arrest

Beijing : China has promised to protect the rights of 13 Canadian officials who were detained after Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Sabrina Meng Wanzhou was arrested last month in Vancouver at the request of the United States.

Addressing a press conference organised by the State Council Information Office, Vice-Minister of Justice Liu Zhenyu, confirmed that China would protect the “interests of the persons concerned during the process,” South China Morning Post reported.

A press statement released by the Canadian government on Thursday said that Beijing has detained 13 Canadians in total, since Wang’s arrest on December 1. However, due to the escalation of a diplomatic spat between China and Canada, the detention of three Canadians was officially revealed. However, Thursday’s statement revealed that out of total 13 detainees, eight have been released.

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The spokesman of Global Affairs Canada Guillaume Berube, said that the Foreign Affairs Ministry was “aware of 13 Canadian citizens having been detained in China, excluding Hong Kong, since December 1, 2018. Of those, we can confirm that at least eight have been released.”

“These 13 include Michael Kovrig, Michael Spavor and Sarah McIver,” Berube said.

“There are around 200 Canadians overall who have been detained in China for a variety of alleged infractions and face ongoing legal proceedings,” the spokesperson further added.

In an advisory released on Thursday (local time), the United States Department of State appealed to those travelling to China to exercise “increased caution” as they may be prohibited from exiting China due to the latter’s “coercive use” of exit bans.

According to CNN, the State Department kept China at Level 2 due to “arbitrary enforcement of local laws as well as special restrictions on dual US-Chinese nationals.”


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