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Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have now been detained by China for 400 days

Click to play video 'Chinese embassy slams Canada as U.S. pushes for detained Canadians’ release' Chinese embassy slams Canada as U.S. pushes for detained Canadians’ release
(Dec. 2019): Chinese embassy slams Canada as U.S. pushes for detained Canadians' release – Dec 24, 2019

The detention by China of both Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor has reached a sombre new milestone.

As of Tuesday, it has been 400 days since Kovrig, a diplomat on leave from his job and working with the international NGO Crisis Group, and Spavor, who is an entrepreneur, were detained.

READ MORE: Judge denies media consortium’s request to broadcast Huawei CFO extradition hearing

Both Canadians were detained by China in the days following the arrest by Canadian authorities of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is wanted for extradition by the United States. She and her company have since been charged with skirting American sanctions on Iran and stealing corporate secrets.

According to Global Affairs Canada, they were detained on Dec. 10. Both have been held without access to legal counsel since.

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Both Kovrig and Spavor have received only intermittent visits with consular officials during more than a year of detainment and are being subjected to reportedly “harsh” conditions, including Kovrig having his reading glasses confiscated and the lights in their cells being left on at all hours.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly called for China to release the two Canadians, calling their detentions “arbitrary.”

Lawmakers in the U.S., U.K. and dozens of other allied nations have also condemned China’s detention of the pair and called for their release.

Click to play video 'House votes in favour of special committee on Canada-China relations' House votes in favour of special committee on Canada-China relations
House votes in favour of special committee on Canada-China relations – Dec 10, 2019

But China has refused, and late last year formally arrested the two on allegations of endangering national security.

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There is no indication of when they could be released, but a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson told reporters in December that their cases were transferred to prosecutors, hinting at a potential upcoming trial for the two.

READ MORE: Crown says Meng Wanzhou’s alleged actions would be crime in Canada

According to the spokesperson, their cases were sent for “review and prosecution in accordance with the law.” In past cases, trials were often carried out behind closed doors and convictions were seen as virtually certain.

Meng, who is currently on bail and living in one of two multimillion-dollar homes in Vancouver, is fighting her extradition to U.S. in British Columbia’s Supreme Court — a battle that could last years.

Click to play video 'Canadian government working to secure ‘immediate release’ of detainees in China' Canadian government working to secure ‘immediate release’ of detainees in China
Canadian government working to secure ‘immediate release’ of detainees in China – Dec 10, 2019

A hearing is scheduled Jan. 20, focusing on a test of dual criminality — whether or not the U.S. allegations against Meng would amount to a crime in Canada. On Friday, the Department of Justice filed court documents in support of Meng’s extradition to the U.S. on fraud charges.

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Allegations against the Huawei CFO accuse her of lying about the Chinese tech company’s relationship with the Iran-linked Skycom to HSBC, one of its bankers.

U.S. sanctions against Iran began in 2018 after U.S. President Donald Trump’s abandoning of the 2015 nuclear deal, accusing the country of continuing to destabilize the Middle East with proxies.

The detainment of the two Canadians, as well as Meng’s extradition case, has largely fractured Canada-China relations.

Click to play video 'Lametti says it’s ‘troubling’ Michael Spavor, Michael Kovrig haven’t had legal counsel access' Lametti says it’s ‘troubling’ Michael Spavor, Michael Kovrig haven’t had legal counsel access
Lametti says it’s ‘troubling’ Michael Spavor, Michael Kovrig haven’t had legal counsel access – Dec 10, 2019

In the spring of last year, China started blocking canola imports from Canada, citing “hazardous organisms.” The block and the arrest of the two Michaels were largely seen as a retaliatory move against Meng’s detainment.

A motion in support of creating a special committee to re-evaluate Canada’s relationship with China was approved in December.

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