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|Former Canadian diplomat detained in China amid tensions over arrest of Huawei executive|
A former Canadian diplomat has been arrested in China, amid tensions over the recent detention of a Chinese telecom executive in Vancouver. "We have been in direct contact with the Chinese diplomats and representatives," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. "We are engaged with the file (case), which we take very seriously." Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale on Tuesday confirmed the detention of Michael Kovrig. "We're deeply concerned," he said. "A Canadian is obviously in difficulty in China. We are sparing no effort to do everything we possibly can to look after his safety." The International Crisis Group said on Tuesday it was aware of reports that Mr Kovrig, its North East Asia senior adviser, had been detained. The Brussels-based non-governmental organisation said in a statement that it's doing everything possible to obtain additional information about Mr Kovrig's whereabouts and that it will work to ensure his prompt release. The Globe and Mail in Toronto and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported the arrest, citing unnamed sources. Reports of Mr Kovrig's detention come after China warned Canada of consequences for its December 1 arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver's airport. It's unclear if there's any link between the cases. Ms Meng was detained over US allegations she misled banks about Huawei' s control of a firm operating in Iran. Yesterday (Tues), the Washington Post reported that the US government is to take action against China over hacking and economic espionage,using sanctions and indictments. The report could not immediately be confirmed. The International Crisis Group said Mr Kovrig has been one of its full-time experts since February 2017. The organisation's website says Kovrig previously worked as a Canadian diplomat in Beijing and Hong Kong and at the United Nations. Canada's Global Affairs department didn't immediately respond with comment. Former Canadian Liberal leader Bob Rae said it's clear why he's been detained. "It's called repression and retaliation," Mr Rae tweeted.
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