Representatives of Beijing and Ottawa exchanged harsh words at the UN after the Canadian foreign minister mentioned two new citizens released by China.
On the last working day of the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 27, Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said that two citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig were detained by the Chinese government in retaliation for the Chinese government’s detention. Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested by Ottawa at the request of the US.
“Canada adheres to the rule of law, and two Canadian citizens pay a heavy price for this compliance. We continue to oppose the treatment of those two citizens,” he said.
Garneau said that during Meng’s house arrest in Vancouver, Canada “applied both domestic and international law to handle the request for the extradition of a Chinese citizen”.
On the evening of the same day, the representative of the Chinese delegation to the United Nations General Assembly exercised the right to answer, accusing the US and Canada of arbitrarily detained Meng Wanzhou and without “legal basis”.
“The real purpose of this action is to blackmail Chinese enterprises and technology companies as a way to stifle China’s scientific and technological progress. The actions of the US and Canada are typical of detention. arbitrarily kept,” said Liu Yang, an adviser to the Chinese delegation.
Meng Wanzhou, 49, was arrested at Vancouver International Airport in December 2018. Nine days later, businessman Kovrig and former diplomat Spavor were arrested in China on espionage charges and spent more than 1,000 days in detention, a move Canada accused of retaliation and “hostage diplomacy”.
Meng Wanzhou was released from custody at a trial in Vancouver on September 24, hours after US prosecutors announced an agreement to suspend fraud charges against her. China soon released two Canadian citizens.
At the General Assembly, Liu said that Meng’s case was “completely different” from that of Kovrig and Spavor, noting that the two Canadians engaged in behavior that “endangered China’s security”. Liu also repeated the country’s media reports that the two Canadians had pleaded guilty, while the Canadian government has not indicated that Kovrig and Spavor had confessed to any crimes.
“We hope Canada can face the truth frankly, correct its mistakes and learn from what happened so that it doesn’t happen again,” warned Liu.
A Canadian representative later spoke, responding that Meng Wanzhou had been treated with judicial independence and the rule of law, noting “she spoke outside the Vancouver court to thank the court “, while Canadian citizens detained in China “are not entitled to the same transparency, respect, due process or judicial independence”.
“And we will continue to speak out against arbitrary detention in our relations,” the Canadian representative said.
Liu responded again, saying “we cannot accept what he said”. “The truth cannot be denied and the law cannot be denied. We believe that history will have the final verdict,” Liu said.
Huyen Le (Follow CNN)