China targeting Canadians since Huawei exec's arrest

Previous reports had just three Canadians publicly known to have been detained in China since the December 1 arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver at the behest of the U.S.

The advisory says exit bans let the Chinese government hold USA citizens for long periods of time, sometimes years, and can also prevent travelers from accessing US consular services.

Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China welcomes foreign visitors and promises they will be safe. They have only been granted limited access to Canadian consular services.

Cooper acknowledged there was discussion about whether the trip would go ahead given the current tensions, until the leader of the delegation, Liberal Sen. In addition, Senator Joseph Day told Canadian Press an elevated travel ban for Canadians would be counterproductive.

However, these are only the number of detainees that has been officially confirmed by Global Affairs. "Quite frankly, if there were safety issues or if it was deemed to not be beneficial, then we wouldn't be going".

An updated U.S. State Department notice warns that China sometimes arbitrarily detains U.S. citizens or prevents them from leaving the country.

December 28: Global Affairs confirms that McIver has returned to Canada after being released.

McIver is one of the eight Canadians who have been released, although Kovrig and Spavor continue to be held by China. Nor did the State Department say what triggered the updated travel advisory.

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This is coming from that country's top prosecutor, and is the latest twist in this tense ongoing worldwide dispute. But Beijing-based western diplomats and former Canadian diplomats have said they believe the detentions were a "tit-for-tat" reprisal by China. Sheldon Hunt, who works at Canadian National Railway in Shanghai, said the warning would prompt people investing in China to be much more cautious and look to other, more promising and secure countries.

In Beijing, China's top prosecutor said Thursday that the two Canadians had "without a doubt" violated the law.

Malley said he has full confidence in the approach the government has taken. The U.S., Australia and the United Kingdom have joined Canada's call for their release.

Canada has sought the support of key allies in pressuring China to release Kovrig and Spavor.

The State Department noted that USA citizens that are under these bans "have been harassed and threatened".

"We've only heard that he was detained, but we know nothing about the reason", he said.

The two countries may have different views about what constitutes the rule of law but both need to find common ground on some basics, he said.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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