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CanadaTrudeau accuses China of violating diplomatic immunity in arrest of Michael Kovrig

07:55  12 january  2019
07:55  12 january  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

China says detained Canadian lacks diplomatic immunity

China says detained Canadian lacks diplomatic immunity China on Monday ridiculed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's claim that a former Canadian embassy official detained in Beijing still held diplomatic immunity. Chinese authorities arrested former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor last month, accusing them both of endangering national security. The move was widely seen as retaliation for Canada's arrest of a top Chinese executive from telecom giant Huawei. Trudeau on Friday accused China of "arbitrarily and unfairly" detaining the two men and of ignoring Kovrig's "diplomatic immunity" -- earning a scornful rebuke from Beijing.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accuses China of violating Canadian Michael Kovrig 's diplomatic immunity for arresting him in China last month and holding Kovrig continued reporting on sensitive subjects involving China after he joined the International Crisis Group as an adviser in February 2017.

The arrest of Michael Kovrig came on the third day of a bail hearing for Chinese businessperson Meng Wanzhou, who has been arrested in Vancouver and could face extradition to the U.S. WATCH: No explanation for ex-Canadian diplomat ’s arrest in Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the

Trudeau accuses China of violating diplomatic immunity in arrest of Michael Kovrig © Associated Press Michael Kovrig, a Canadian diplomat on leave and working in China with an NGO, was detained by Chinese officials last month. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused China Friday of violating Kovrig's rights as a foreign diplomat.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is accusing China of ignoring the "principles of diplomatic immunity" by "arbitrarily and unfairly" detaining two Canadian citizens, one of which is a Canadian diplomat on leave.

It marks the first time Trudeau, or the Canadian government, have accused the Chinese government of violating the diplomatic immunity of Michael Kovrig, who was detained on Dec. 10 but was not granted consular access until four days later.

China: Detained Canadian does not have diplomatic immunity

China: Detained Canadian does not have diplomatic immunity BEIJING - A former Canadian diplomat detained in China last month does not enjoy diplomatic immunity, a Chinese spokeswoman said Monday, rejecting a complaint from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the man's rights were being denied. Trudeau said last week that Chinese officials were not respecting the diplomatic immunity of Michael Kovrig. He was arrested along with Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor on vague national security allegations after a top Chinese executive with telecommunications network equipment giant Huawei was detained in Canada on Dec. 1 at the request of Washington.

China detained former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor last month, accusing them China ’s arrest of Kovrig , Spavor, sends chill though US academics. According to the Vienna Convention, persons carrying a diplomatic passport enjoy immunity when they are abroad.

Michael Kovrig , a North East Asia senior adviser for the International Crisis Group, has been arrested in China . While Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale stressed that “there is no explicit indication” of a connection, some officials believe Kovrig ’s arrest is revenge for the arrest of Huawei

Kovrig, who is an employee of Global Affairs Canada, is on leave from the department to work for the International Crisis Group, a non-governmental organization focused on resolution or prevention of violent conflict.

Kovrig and a second Canadian, Michael Spavor, were arrested in China in December after Canadian officials detained technology giant Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, in Vancouver on an extradition request from the U.S.

She was later granted bail and is now awaiting court proceedings.

"Ms. Meng was given a hearing immediately," Trudeau said in Regina Friday. "She was granted bail. She is now in her own home in Vancouver. This is the way we live up to our rules within our justice system.

"It is unfortunate that China has arbitrarily and unfairly detained two Canadian citizens, and indeed, in one of the cases, is not respecting the principles of diplomatic immunity."

Canadians urged to exercise caution in China amid ‘arbitrary enforcement’ of laws

Canadians urged to exercise caution in China amid ‘arbitrary enforcement’ of laws The statement comes the same day that Canadian citizen Robert Lloyd Schellenberg was sentenced to death for drug smuggling charges in China. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the sentence was a case of China "choosing to act arbitrarily" and added that China was refusing to follow international principles. “It is of extreme concern to us as a government, as it should be to all our friends and allies, that China has begun to arbitrarily apply (the) death penalty, as in this case facing a Canadian,” Trudeau said at a press conference.

China arrested former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor on vague national security allegations. Trudeau asserted diplomatic immunity in both French and English answers to a question but did not elaborate on why Kovrig is entitled to it.

Former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig detained in China after arrest of Huawei CFO Sabrina Meng Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the matter is one for the courts to decide. Kovrig , who has written opinion pieces for the South China Morning Post, has been a full-time expert

Guy Saint-Jacques, a former Canadian Ambassador to Beijing, oversaw Kovrig's work in the country. In an interview with The Canadian Press last month, Saint-Jacques said Kovrig's job as a diplomat was to monitor highly sensitive subjects.

He said Kovrig tried to "get the pulse" of many groups, such as displaced Tibetans as well as Muslim minorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, where Beijing has been accused of mass detentions.

On China's radar

"He went to remote locations trying to meet with people from these communities to try and understand what they were going through, in terms of the challenges they faced, protecting their cultures," Saint-Jacques told The Canadian Press. "So, all of this, obviously, would have attracted the attention of security people."

Saint-Jacques said Chinese authorities maintain extensive files on all diplomats in China, especially those, like Kovrig, who speak fluent Mandarin.

Chinese ambassador accuses Canada of 'white supremacy' in Huawei case

Chinese ambassador accuses Canada of 'white supremacy' in Huawei case A Chinese envoy on Wednesday accused Canada and its allies of "Western egotism and white supremacy" for demanding the immediate release of two Canadians held for alleged spying. In a letter published by The Hill Times newspaper, China's ambassador to Canada Lu Shaye also criticized the "groundless" detention of a top Chinese tech executive at the request of the United States. China detained former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor last month, accusing them both of activities that "endanger China's security" -- a phrase often used by Beijing when alleging espionage.

The dramatic standoff over the arrest of a Chinese tech executive on charges related to Iran- sanctions violations deepened Tuesday, when a bail hearing in the case was overshadowed by news of the arrest of a former Canadian diplomat in China Michael Kovrig of the International Crisis Group.

Michael Kovrig , who until recently served as a Canadian diplomat in China , has been arrested and detained in China without explanation, the The detention of Canadian Michael Kovrig follows the arrest in Canada of the chief financial officer of China 's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd on Dec.

Kovrig continued reporting on sensitive subjects involving China after he joined the International Crisis Group as an adviser in February 2017. His work for the ICG has included the North Korean nuclear crisis, China's relationship with the U.S. and its presence in Africa.

Chinese officials have said that the ICG is not registered in China and alleged its activities in the country are illegal.

It was also revealed today that Scott Bradley has stepped down from his position as the vice-president of corporate affairs for Huawei Canada after working for the company for more than seven years.

In a statement posted to Facebook, Bradley said 2018 was a time of "both great success and significant challenges" for the company, but added it "is time for a change."

Bradley noted Jake Enwright, who was formerly Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer's spokesman, had joined the company last year and said "his vision and strategic thinking are needed in leading the team moving forward."

Huawei raises concerns with allies

Concerns have been expressed by Canada's allies about the degree to which Huawei can be trusted to take part in the next generation of mobile phone technology, called 5G.

New Zealand and Australia have banned the use of Huawei products in their 5G network development, fearing Huawei could use its access to spy for the Chinese government. In August, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a bill imposing restrictions on government contracts with Huawei and ZTE, citing national security concerns.

Last month, the U.K.'s BT Group said it would remove Huawei equipment from its existing 3G and 4G mobile operations.

Huawei has long insisted that it is not a state-controlled company and denies engaging in intelligence work for the Chinese government. However, Chinese law dictates that companies must "support, co-operate with and collaborate in national intelligence work."

Canadian diplomats in China met second of two detained citizens.
Canadian diplomats in China met second of two detained citizens

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