The Chinese government released a statement on Monday alleging that two detained Canadian citizens spied on, and stole state secrets and intelligence from China. Michael Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat, allegedly travelled to China frequently to spy and steal state secrets through his contacts, the statement said. He allegedly commenced the espionage activities from 2017 onward. The second Canadian detainee, Michael Spavor, allegedly was Kovrig’s “main intelligence contact” in supplying state secrets and intelligence to him. The two Canadians have both been charged for spying and stealing state secrets and intelligence from China, as well as bringing that sensitive information abroad. They will be given full legal rights in accordance with Chinese law, which includes being able to arrange consular visits, the statement said. A hearing date has not yet been set. The statement stressed China is a country run by the rule of law, and the country will resolutely crack down on criminal activities that jeopardise national security. “We are obviously very concerned with this position that China has taken,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during a funding announcement in Charlottetown. “The safety and security of Canadians is always of first order for this government. That’s why we’ve been engaging and standing up for the two Canadians who have been arbitrarily detained by China from the very beginning.” Kovrig and Spavor were both arrested and detained on December 10, 2018, for suspicion of engaging in activities that endangered China’s national security, and are currently detained in Beijing and Dandong,… [Read full story]
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