China confirms arrests of Canadians detained amid Huawei spat

Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig have been formally detained and charged by China

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Chinese authorities have formally arrested two Canadians detained a year ago, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, on state secrets charges, China's foreign ministry said on Thursday, in what is likely to further increase tensions between Ottawa and Beijing.

Lu said "Chinese judicial authorities are handling the cases according to law", and that Spavor and Kovrig's "legitimate rights and interests are fully guaranteed". "What really gave me hope was having my Bible with me the whole time, being able to pray and knowing other people were praying for us and really thousands of people around the world".

"Canada strongly condemns their arbitrary arrest as we condemned their arbitrary detention on December 10", the Canadian foreign ministry said in a statement to the newspaper. "What we're seeing is China's rather crude effort at mirroring the process that Ms. Meng is experiencing in Canada, absent all the protections that a rule-of-law system like Canada's affords to the accused", Mulroney said. "The actions we have taken are entirely law-based. We will continue to back these Canadians", he told media on Thursday. We believe that very strongly.

Mr Spavor, who worked with North Korea, and Mr Kovrig were picked up separately, shortly after Canada arrested Huawei Technologies Co Ltd Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who faces extradition to the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order barring U.S. firms from using telecom equipment made by companies deemed to pose a national security risk.

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She has been living in a Vancouver home that was valued at C$5 million in 2018.

The 47-year-old daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei made an appearance in a crowded courtroom in Vancouver on May 8 in the latest step in her much-anticipated extradition hearing.

"After 158 days of arbitrary detention, Michael still hasn't been allowed to see his family or a lawyer", ICG said. The order did not specifically identify any country or company, but USA officials have previously labelled Huawei a "threat" and lobbied allies not to use Huawei network equipment in next-generation 5G networks.

China and the US are now embroiled in a trade dispute that has beleaguered global financial markets. Numerous US complaints revolve around China's drive to acquire advanced intellectual property and dominate fields such as latest-generation 5G cellphone technology that Huawei has pursued.

Another Canadian held in China, Robert Schellenberg, was re-sentenced to death in a drug case following Meng's detention. His case is now under appeal.

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