Canada's ambassadors around the world are launching a concerted campaign to pressure allies to push for the release of two Canadians detained in China, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Saturday.
China has given only vague details of why it has detained the two Canadians, saying they are suspected of engaging in activities that endangered China's security, and has not drawn a direct link to Meng's arrest.
After the arrest of Chinese citizen Meng Wanzhou, the Chief Financial Officer of Huawei, who was accused of allegedly violating the United States sanctions on Iran, by Canadian authorities, China detained three Canadian citizens, who were charged with lawbreaking activities.
EU High Representative Mogherini's spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said China's declared motive for the arrest and detention of the Canadians "raises concerns about legitimate research and business practices in China".
"Canada is a country governed by the rule of law", Freeland said.
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"Canada respects its global legal commitments, including by honouring its extradition treaty with the United States".
"Canada is really just caught in between the U.S. and China, we're like a scapegoat", a businesswoman in education told AFP, requesting anonymity for fear of reprisals.
Canada spoke strongly on Friday in making its first demand for China to immediately release its citizens.
He is not allowed to apply for bail and not allowed to see a lawyer, said one source, adding Kovrig is questioned every morning, afternoon and evening, not allowed to turn the lights off at night, and is being held at an undisclosed location.
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Kovrig is a senior advisor at the International Crisis Group think tank, while Spavor facilitates trips to North Korea, including visits by former National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman. "I call for them to be treated in a fair, unbiased and transparent manner".
Kovrig's supporters say he was working openly, had met numerous Chinese officials, attended conferences and appeared in the media.
He further stated that the United States shares Canada's commitment to the rule of law as fundamental to all free societies, and we will defend and uphold this principle.
China on Thursday said a third, female Canadian is undergoing "administrative punishment" for working illegally, after Canada's government confirmed the detention. "This is clearly a hard moment in our relationship with China and it's important to keep on talking and raising issues directly with them as we are doing".
Canada's National Post on Wednesday reported that McIver, "who had been teaching at a school in China", was taken into custody due to visa complications.
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As well as the U.S., Britain and the European Union have also expressed support for Canada.