06:10 GMT +320 March 2019
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    Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the media at the end of a two-day cabinet retreat in Calgary, Alberta, Canada January 24, 2017

    Trudeau 'Very Concerned' as China Suspects Detained Canadian of Espionage

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    Chinese-Canadian ties have further strained after the detention of two Canadian citizens, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor, shortly after Huawei executive's arrest. Chinese authorities have denied the allegations that the move was Beijing's retaliation, insisting that the two men posed a threat to national security.

    The Canadian prime minister said that he was concerned by reports that Beijing suspects one of the two Canadians detained in China, Michael Kovrig, of spying.

    According to Reuters citing a statement by the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission on its microblog, China has accused ex-diplomat Kovrig of stealing state secrets which were passed on to him from another detained Canadian national, businessman Michael Spavor.

    The reports follow the decision by the Canadian Department of Justice to grant authorization to proceed with the extradition process in the case of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. The British Columbia Supreme Court has scheduled an appearance date for March 6 to confirm the extradition authorization and to set the date for the extradition hearing, the press release said.

    READ MORE: Arrested Huawei CFO Sues Canada Alleging Breach of Constitutional Rights

    Meng was arrested in Vancouver on December 1, 2018 at the United States' request, reportedly for failing to comply with US sanctions against Iran. The arrest was decried by Beijing, which demanded that Canadian authorities immediately release the Chinese national.

    Huawei Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Meng Wanzhou was arrested in the Canadian city of Vancouver on December 1, 2018, reportedly, for failing to comply with the US sanctions against Iran, and now faces extradition to the United States. The arrest was decried by Beijing, which has urged the Canadian authorities to immediately release the Chinese national.

    READ MORE: 'Go Ask Snowden': Huawei Chief Slams US Spying Habits in Ongoing Feud

    Just a few days after Meng's arrest, the Chinese authorities have detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor, accusing them of posing a threat to the country's security. Beijing denied, however, that the detention had anything to do with Meng's case.

    Tags:
    spying, Huawei, Michael Spavor, Michael Kovrig, Meng Wanzhou, China, Canada
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