Canadian Detained in China on Unspecified Charges

By Jesse Pottinger, July 15, 2019

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Global Affairs Canada has confirmed that yet another Canadian has been detained in China, according to Global News.

The department says that the detainee has been granted consular service, but, in compliance with Canada’s Privacy Act, no personal information can be released, nor is it clear why the individual was arrested. The individual is being held in the Northeast China city of Yantai.

When asked if the arrest is connected to a recent drug-related operation that saw 16 foreign teachers and students detained in East China, Global Affairs made no comment, according to Global News. 

Xuzhou, where the previous detentions took place, is about 600 kilometers from Yantai. 

Since the December 2018 arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, British Columbia, China-Canada relations have become as cold as the Great White North itself. 

Canadian citizen Michael Spavor with the leader of the DPRK, Kim Jong-un. Image via NKNews

Following Meng’s overseas detention, Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig, and Michael Spavor, a Canadian businessman with ties to the DPRK (North Korea), were detained in China on suspicion of espionage – with Beijing alleging that, since 2017, the two had been illegally obtaining “sensitive information and other intelligence,” according to CNN.

In addition to the aforementioned cases, several incidences since late 2018 have seen China-based Canadians in temporary – and, in one case, permanent – turmoil. 

Shortly after the arrests of Korvig and Spavor, a third Canadian was sentenced to administrative detention for illegal employment, but the Alberta native, who was teaching English in China, was released shortly thereafter. 

Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, the Canadian who was sentenced to death in China on January 14 after being convicted of organizing international drug trafficking. Screengrab via CCTV

In November 2018, a Canadian citizen with a long history of drug-related charges was sentenced to 15 years behind bars in China for his alleged involvement with an international drug smuggling organization. But after appealing the initial ruling, the defendant was handed the death sentence in January.

[Cover image via Unsplash]

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