Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed on Friday the hope to receive “within an hour, a day, a week, a month” of “good news” concerning the two Canadians detained in China for two years in a “arbitrary” way .
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“We will continue to study all avenues to bring home the two Michael as quickly as possible,” commented Mr. Trudeau, referring to Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat, and Michael Spavor, a businessman.
“I still hope to have good news within an hour, a day, a week, a month,” he said during a press briefing, without further details.
These two Canadians were taken into custody on December 10 in China, officially for espionage, around ten days after the arrest in Vancouver of the financial director of Chinese giant Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, at the request of the United States.
“This will be the third Christmas that Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor will spend in arbitrary detention,” said the head of the Canadian government.
Canada has since demanded the release of the two men, arrested in an “arbitrary” manner as part of “coercive diplomacy”.
The arrest of Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, followed by that of the “two Michael’s” in China, led to an unprecedented crisis between the two countries.
Ms. Meng is fighting in Canadian justice an extradition request filed by the United States, which accuses her of having violated sanctions against Iran. China calls on Ottawa to release Meng Wanzhou immediately, while Canada says it respects the rule of law and the ongoing extradition process.
The US press reported last week that Washington could allow it to return to China if it acknowledges some of the charges against it.
Chinese authorities deny any link between the Meng Wanzhou affair and the arrest of the two Canadians, even though information from the American press raised hopes of a return to Canada of Spavor and Kovrig.
“We are a country that rejects coercive diplomacy and arbitrary detentions,” Trudeau said. China’s attitude “does not improve its relations with the rest of the world and actually harms its own interests,” he added.