Canada calls for immediate release of nationals detained in China

Ottawa: Ottawa has called for the immediate release of the Canadian nationals who have been detained by China.

Issuing a statement, Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland asked China to free the detained Canadians, noting that such a move by Beijing would comply with the rule of law, which as she stated is “not a choice”.

“We are deeply concerned by the arbitrary detention by Chinese authorities of two Canadians earlier this month and call for their immediate release”, Freeland stated.

Terming China’s move as “arbitrary detention” of the Canadians, Freeland appreciated everyone who spoke openly in support of the rule of law as fundamental to free societies.

Freeland further said, “We share with our partners the conviction that the rule of law is not a choice: it is the bedrock of democracy. Canada will not compromise nor politicize the rule of law and due process. Canada is a country governed by the rule of law. Canada is conducting a fair, unbiased and transparent legal proceeding with respect to Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer.”

The US had also called for the immediate release of the Canadians detained in Beijing.

The three nations got caught in a diplomatic crisis after Huawei CFO Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver while taking a layover flight to Mexico.

China demanding the immediate release of the CFO retaliated by detaining two Canadian citizens- Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig on the suspicion of “activities that endangered China’s national security.

Meng Wanzhou is currently out on bail after five people pledged to secure a bail amount of USD 2.2 million on December 11. Furthermore, Meng’s husband, Liu Xiaozong has pledged a further USD 7 million in cash, according to the South China Morning Post. She is awaiting extradition proceedings in Canada as she is wanted for fraud by the US.