Chinese authorities detained another Canadian citizen last week within the Chinese city of Yantai, further raising diplomatic tensions between the two nations.
Canada’s foreign ministry confirmed that the unnamed individual is receiving consular services, based on the New York Times.
Relations between the nations have been strained since two Canadians have been detained in China in December. Their arrest was believed to be a retaliatory transfer for the arrest of Huawei’s CFO, Meng Wangzhou, in Vancouver on the request of U.S. authorities over alleged Iran sanctions violations.
The Canadians, ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor, have been charged with surveillance.
The most recent arrest occurred across the same time that China detained a number of foreign college students and teachers on drug-related charges within the eastern Chinese city of Xuzhou. At the least four are Britons, based on the Times.
It’s unclear if last week’s detention is said to the drug case, or was meant to put pressure on Canada. Along with arresting Canadian citizens, China has additionally responded with economic pressure. Imports of Canadian beef and canola oil had been halted after Meng’s arrest, in line with the Times.
Canada shouldn’t be the one nation whose citizens are being focused by Beijing’s detainee diplomacy. Last month, a Chinese-American executive at Koch Industries was held and questioned for a number of days. The State Department has registered a warning about China’s “exit bans” in opposition to dual-national citizens.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau requested President Donald Trump to discuss the discharge of Kovrig and Spavor with China’s chief, Xi Jinping when he met Xi on the G20 Summit in late June, reports the Times.