China to Canada: Stop Megaphone Diplomacy Over Arrests Made with Solid Evidence
China says evidence against two Canadian citizens arrested for espionage is solid, rejecting public statements by Canadian officials that the two are being held “arbitrarily.”
“Stop making irresponsible remarks on cases of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, and exerting pressure on China through megaphone diplomacy!” the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa said in a statement on its website on Saturday.
“The facts are clear and evidence solid and sufficient. The accusation of so-called ‘arbitrarily’ detaining Canadian citizens is totally groundless,” it said.
Kovrig, a former diplomat, and Spavor, a businessman, were arrested in China in December 2018. They were charged with suspected espionage this month.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other officials have repeatedly called their arrest and prosecution “arbitrary.”
The Chinese statement said, however, that their cases would be handled “strictly in accordance with law,” and their lawful rights would be protected.
Their arrest came soon after the financial director of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, was taken into custody in Canada on a United States warrant.
The Chinese mission said Meng’s apprehension was the true instance of arbitrary detention and described her case as “a grave political incident concocted by the United States to suppress Chinese high-tech enterprises and Huawei, and Canada is its accomplice.”
It reiterated Beijing’s call for Meng’s release.
Diplomatic relations between Canada and China have been strained over the arrests. Bilateral trade has been affected, too.
China says the arrest of the two Canadians is unrelated to Meng’s detention.
The United States wants Meng extradited to face trial on charges related to the Chinese telecom equipment maker’s alleged violations of US sanctions against Iran.
Kovrig’s wife as well as 20 Canadian officials recently urged Trudeau to intervene to stop the extradition process of the Huawei executive in order to facilitate the release of the two Canadians.
Source: Press TV