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China ‘resolutely opposes’ demands for release of detained Canadians

China on Monday said that it “resolutely opposes” statements made last week by Canada and the US demanding the release of detained Canadians.

“The Chinese side expressed strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to the statements made by Canada and the US,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing.

Beijing this month detained two Canadians — Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat and an advisor with the International Crisis Group (ICG) think tank, and businessman Michael Spavor — whom they accuse of engaging in activities that “endangers China’s security’.

This comes after Canadian authorities arrested Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou.

A third Canadian, a woman named Sarah McIver, was being held pending deportation for working illegally in China.

Canada’s top diplomat Chrystia Freeland on Saturday called on allies for support in securing the release of the detained Canadians noting that the arrests are a “worrying precedent” for the entire international community.

Britain, Germany and the European Union have all issued statements expressing concerns about what are believed to be tit-for-tat arrests related to the high-profile detention in Canada of the Huawei executive.

China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying dismissed these statements saying the countries seem to have “different human rights standards for citizens of different countries.”

“What does this matter have to do with the UK or the EU? “Where were they when the Canadian side illegally detained Chinese business executives at the request of the US?” she said.

Meng has been released on bail in Vancouver pending a US extradition hearing on US fraud charges related to sanctions-breaking business dealings with Iran.

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