Former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovriget’s compatriot Michael Spavor, detained for 18 months in China, was indicted on Friday for spying on Beijing, which continues to deny any connection in this case with the arrest of Chinese giant’s ex-finance director Huawei of Canada.
A new twist in the deal that has poisoned diplomatic relations between Beijing and Ottawa for nearly two years. La Chinea formally charged with espionage, Friday, June 19, two Canadians arrested since December 2018 in the name of national security, the Chinese Prosecutor’s Office said.
Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat previously based in Beijing, and Michael Spavor, a consultant and businessman who specializes in North Korea, are both accused of “spying” and “revealing state secrets”.
The two Canadians were arrested in December 2018, a few days after the arrest in Canada, at the request of US justice, by the finance director of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, Meng Wanzhou.
No question about reprisals, Beijing says
Huawei founder daughter Meng is accused by the United States of circumventing US sanctions on Iran. His arrest at the end of 2018 opened an unprecedented diplomatic crisis between Ottawa and Beijing.
The process against the two Canadians is generally seen in the West as a reprisal. A charge that China firmly denies. Beijing claims to be the “rule of law”, although the judiciary remains under the influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), but the country mostly addresses issues of national security with great opacity.
The Chinese authorities have repeatedly implied that the release of Meng Wanzhou was a qua non to improve his relations with Ottawa.