Canadian with North Korea ties detained after Huawei arrest

A paramilitary police officer cycles past the embassy of Canada in Beijing on Wednesday.

China on Thursday confirmed it has detained two Canadian men, raising the stakes in a three-way global dispute over the case of a Chinese telecoms executive facing possible extradition from Canada to the United States.

So high-profile is the case that US President Donald Trump said he could intervene if it helped to avoid a further decline in relations between the US and China, which are locked in a trade war.

"I am proud of Huawei, I am proud of my motherland", Meng said in a post on Chinese social media after her release.

Michael Spavor - who was photographed years ago by Reuters sharing a cocktail with Kim on the dictator's private boat after racing around the waters near one of his resorts - now joins former diplomat Michael Kovrig in Chinese custody.

According to Bloomberg, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Lu Kang said Thursday that Spavor and Kovring were "suspected of engaging in activities endangering national security", without specifying whether their cases were linked.

He said Beijing security and state security officials in the city of Dandong, Liaoning Province had taken measures against Spavor and Kovrig.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 8, 2014 and released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on January 9, 2014 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (R) speaking with former United States basketball star Dennis Rodman (not in picture) as Michael Spavor (L) listens at Pyongyang Gymnasium in Pyongyang. He has ties to the North Korean government and has met its leader Kim Jong-un many times.

Some saw the move as retaliation for the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of telecommunications giant Huawei, in Vancouver on December 1.

Meng was released on $10-million bail earlier this week.

Top LeT operative, who killed Kashmir journalist Bukhari, gunned down in encounter
After his escape , Jatt is reported to have made his way to South Kashmir, where he took charge of the militant outfit. He was also involved in attacks on security establishments and "many other civilian atrocities", police said.

Canadian officials were working hard to ascertain Spavor's whereabouts and would continue to raise the issue with the Chinese government, Bérubé said.

Many in the US and Canada suspect it means "taken hostage until charges are dropped against Meng Wanzhou". Now China has the country in its cross-hairs, detaining two Canadians in apparent retaliation for the arrest of a top Chinese tech executive on behalf of the United States.

Spavor runs tours of North Korea along with other "cultural exchanges" and "business projects" via his company Paektu Cultural Exchange.

"Canada should distance itself from USA hegemonism and fulfill its obligations to help maintain global order and protect human rights", it said.

The Americans accuse Meng of committing bank fraud in connection with an alleged attempt to circumvent American sanctions against Iran.

Deutsche Telekom, Europe's largest telecoms company, on Friday said it was reviewing its vendor plans in Germany and other European markets where it operates, given the debate on the security of Chinese network gear. "If they want to send you a message, they will send you a message".

Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland listens to a question during a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Dec 12, 2018. It said his case had been raised directly with Chinese officials. Su pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nearly four years in prison.

It's looking more and more like the American request for Meng's arrest was nothing more than a ruse for Trump to use as a bargaining chip to obtain a favourable trade deal with China.

The U.S. has 60 days from the arrest to gather the evidence they have and make a formal request for extradition to Canada's justice minister.

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  • Darren Santiago