Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused Beijing on Thursday of using “arbitrary detentions” as a instrument to pursue political goals— the recent wide-ranging diplomatic and trade row with China.
The canadian president stated that western allies have expressed concerns about the tactic that observers described as “hostage diplomacy.”
Following his arrest last December of Chinese Huawei ceo Meng Wanzhou on a US warrant, Canada’s relations with China were softened.
Nine days later, Beijing arrested two Canadians— former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor— in a move commonly regarded as retaliation, accusing them of spying.
They are among a number of foreign citizens detained in China, accused of spying or trying to steal secrets from the state. “The use of arbitrary detention as an instrument for achieving political objectives, whether international or national, concerns not only Canada, but all our allies.
Ottawa and Beijing — which had been without representation for months — nominated fresh ambassadors in a sign this week that Ottawa and Beijing could be prepared for dialogue. Australian academic Yang Jun, who also goes by his pen name Yang Hengjun, was the recent foreigner to be held by China.
Shortly after making a rare return from the United States to China, he was detained in January, and Beijing announced last week that he was officially arrested on suspicion of spying.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was “totally untrue” to suggest that Yang acted as a spy for Australia, and Canberra expects “respect for his human rights.”