– We are deeply concerned about the arbitrary arrests China has made against two Canadians earlier this month. We demand that they be released immediately, says Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.
Freeland’s statements come after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been criticized by the opposition for being too cautious. On Wednesday, he said that making demands can feel good in the short term, “as if you are breaking the table and doing something”, without necessarily leading to release.
The arrests occurred in the wake of the Canadian authorities’ arrest of Huawei director Meng Wanzhou. Meng was arrested in Vancouver on December 1 after a US arrest warrant accusing her of fraud and breach of sanctions against Iran.
Meng escaped from the arrest earlier this week against bail while waiting to be handed over to the neighboring country.
At the same time, Canada gets the support of several allies. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and UK Secretary of State Mike Hunt say they are both concerned. The EU has also responded to the arrests of the Canadians.
“The motive for the arrests of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadian citizens, raises concerns,” a Union statement said