Advertisement

China claims Canada has ‘double standard’ interfering with Kovrig, Spavor cases

China rebukes Canada for ‘double standard’ and trying to interfere with its justice system in case against two Michaels
WATCH: China rebukes Canada for 'double standard' and trying to interfere with its justice system in case against two Michaels

China‘s foreign ministry slammed Canada and the U.S. on Tuesday, saying the countries’ attempts to interfere in the cases against Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor show a “double standard.”

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian accused the countries of trying to interfere with China’s Justice Department.

“If Canada and the U.S. believe that they are exercising judicial independence to arrest Meng Wanzhou, then why are they trying to interfere in China’s justice department independently dealing with irrelevant cases?” Zhao said.

China detained Kovrig, Spavor in ‘political decision’ over Meng arrest, Trudeau says
China detained Kovrig, Spavor in ‘political decision’ over Meng arrest, Trudeau says

“This is double standards,” he continued. “It really makes us wonder how low they can go on these things.”

Story continues below advertisement

The comments come a day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was “clear” that China detained Kovrig and Spavor in an “obvious” attempt to “put political pressure” on Canada over the arrest of the Huawei executive.

READ MORE: China detained Kovrig, Spavor in ‘political decision’ over Meng arrest, Trudeau says

The United States has charged Meng with fraud, alleging she violated U.S. sanctions against Iran. She was arrested by Canadian police on a U.S. warrant in 2018.

Both Meng and Huawei have denied the allegations.

Last month B.C.’s Supreme Court ruled that Meng must remain in Canada and keep fighting the U.S. extradition order against her.

China says espionage cases against Canadians not linked to detention of Huawei CFO
China says espionage cases against Canadians not linked to detention of Huawei CFO

Kovrig, a former diplomat, and Spavor, a businessman, were arrested in China in 2018 after Meng was detained.

Story continues below advertisement

The arrests of the Canadians have been widely condemned as arbitrary because the country has no judicial independence.

On Friday, China formally charged both men with spying.

READ MORE: Trudeau says he’s ‘disappointed’ by China’s charges against Michael Kovrig, Michael Spavor

Trudeau said he was “disappointed” by China’s decision.

“In the case of the two Michaels, I can say that we are using a wide range of public and private measures to ensure that everything is being done to get these Michaels home,” he told reporters on Friday.

“We do expect both Michaels will come back.”

In a statement issued on Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo weighed in on the issue, saying the U.S. is “extremely concerned” and that the detention of the two men is “unjustified.”

Government need to change its language on China and take action: Mulroney
Government need to change its language on China and take action: Mulroney

“These charges are politically motivated and completely groundless,” he said in a statement. “The United States stands with Canada in calling on Beijing for the immediate release of the two men and rejects the use of these unjustified detentions to coerce Canada.”

Story continues below advertisement

Trudeau thanked Pompeo and nations that recently denounced China‘s treatment of the two men, saying it was important for like-minded nations to show solidarity.

–With files from Global News’ Katie Dangerfield and Reuters