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Meng Wanzhou: China detains Canada’s ex-diplomat in tit-for-tat

Meng Wanzhou of Huawei: China detains Canada’s ex-diplomat as a tit-for-tat

A Canadian was confirmed as being held in China on Tuesday, intensifying a diplomatic stand-off over the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, a top executive of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.

The arrest of the Canadian came as a judge in Vancouver considered Meng’s bail application.

Michael Korvig, a former diplomat who served in Beijing, was reported as having been detained as Meng Wanzhou was due in court for a bail hearing on US charges of violating Iran sanctions.

“We are aware of the situation of a Canadian detained in China,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, adding to concerns voiced by the International Crisis Group think tank, Korvig’s employer, which first raised the alarm.

China has expressed outrage over Meng’s arrest in Vancouver and warned of “grave consequences” if she was not immediately released, although Canada said no link between the two cases had been established.

Washington, which requested Meng’s detention to have her extradited to US soil, called on Beijing to abide by its commitments to human rights.

“We urge China to end all forms of arbitrary detentions and to respect the protections and freedom of all individuals under China’s international human rights and consular commitments,” deputy State Department spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters.

The Huawei chief financial officer was arrested on December 1 on US fraud charges related to sanctions-breaking dealings with Iran.

A third day of court deliberations focused on her proposed release plan, with a judge expected to come to a decision in the afternoon on whether to free her on bail.

Meng has agreed to surrender her passports and submit to electronic monitoring if she is released, pending the outcome of the extradition case.

“Given her unique profile as the face of a Chinese corporate national champion, if she were to flee or breach her order in any way in these very unique circumstances, it does not overstate to say she would embarrass China itself,” Meng’s lawyer David Martin told the court on Monday.

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