US Calls on China to Release 'Immediately and Unconditionally' Canadians Accused of Spying
12:14 GMT 11.08.2021 (Updated: 13:55 GMT 11.08.2021)
© Sputnik / POOLUS Secretary of State Antony Blinken waits before the Russian-American talks at the Villa La Grange in Geneva, Switzerland
© Sputnik / POOL/
Earlier, Canadian Michael Spavor was sentenced to 11 years in prison by a Chinese court on spying charges.
US State Secretary Antony Blinken has called on China to release "immediately and unconditionally" Canadian Citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig.
"The practice of arbitrarily detaining individuals to exercise leverage over foreign governments is completely unacceptable," the Secretary of State said.
France condemns 'arbitrary' verdicts against Canadians in China, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Earlier, a Chinese court in the city of Dandong sentenced Spavor to 11 years in prison on charges of spying with confiscation of property and deportation.
In December 2018, Beijing informed Ottawa about opening an investigation into Spavor and Kovrig suspected of undermining China’s national security. It prompted speculation in media that this was revenge for the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou by Canada.
There have been no reports on Kovrig’s sentence yet.