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Chinese embassy says ties with Canada suffering ‘gross difficulties’

Click to play video 'China continues to push for Meng Wanzhou’s release, tells Canada to stop commenting on Hong Kong' China continues to push for Meng Wanzhou’s release, tells Canada to stop commenting on Hong Kong
ABOVE: China continues to push for Meng Wanzhou's release, tells Canada to stop commenting on Hong Kong – Aug 22, 2019

China’s embassy in Canada says bilateral ties are suffering “gross difficulties” and is repeating its demand for Ottawa to release Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou.

Relations have been icy since Meng was detained in Vancouver last December on a U.S. warrant. China has since charged two Canadians with spying and halted imports of canola seed and meat products from Canada.

READ MORE: Pompeo says U.S. working ‘diligently’ for Canadians detained by China

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday said his government had no intention of backing down in the dispute and would defend Canada’s interests.

In a statement, the embassy said, “We will always defend Chinese and China’s interests, too … China-Canada relations now suffer gross difficulties and the Canadian side knows very well the root cause.

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“Canada should release Ms. Meng Wanzhou immediately and ensure her safe return to China, and bring bilateral relations back onto the right track,” the statement continued.

WATCH BELOW: China confirms detention British consulate staffer, says it’s ‘internal matter’

Click to play video 'China confirms detention British consulate staffer, says it’s ‘internal matter’' China confirms detention British consulate staffer, says it’s ‘internal matter’
China confirms detention British consulate staffer, says it’s ‘internal matter’ – Aug 21, 2019

Trudeau and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland met U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Ottawa for talks on Thursday.

Relations with China will be one of the main topics for discussion.