Speaking to reporters on Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he believes the United States will continue to be a "good partner" to Canada when it comes to pushing for the release of two Canadians detained in China, allegedly in response to the decision to detain Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou. – Nov 9, 2020
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the safe return of two Canadians detained in China remains the government’s top priority amid reports of a potential deal to send Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou back home.
He made the comment the day after the Wall Street Journal reported the news of a potential deal between the U.S. Department of Justice and Meng’s representatives — one that would allow her to return home to China with a deferred prosecution agreement.
“I’m not going to comment on those reports. Canadians know well that our top priority is the safe return of the two Michaels,” Trudeau said when asked about the potential deal on Friday.
“I think we’re going to continue to work as hard as we possibly can to bring these two Michaels home. It’s been extremely difficult for them, for their families and their loved ones. We will continue to stand up for Canadians in difficulty anywhere around the world.”
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Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig were detained in apparent retaliation after Canada infuriated China by arresting Meng in December 2018. Canada did so at the behest of the United States, which had requested her extradition.
Meng’s arrest plunged Canada-China relations into a deep freeze. Spavor and Kovrig have been stuck in a Chinese prison for two years, and another Canadian, Robert Schellenberg, was sentenced to die in China following a hastily scheduled retrial of his drug smuggling conviction in China just one month after Meng’s arrest. Schellenberg has maintained his innocence since his arrest in 2014.
China also briefly banned imports of Canadian pork and beef, claiming a banned animal feed additive was found in a shipment of Canadian pork.
More to come…