Another Canadian detained by Chinese police

China-based Michael Spavor deals with tourism to North Korea. Former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig went missing shortly before him. Both cases appear to be Chinese retaliation for the arrest of Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, IT giant Huawei’s second most important official.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Chinese authorities have detained a second Canadian citizen, Michael Spavor, in what appears to be a retaliatory act for the arrest of Sabrina Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, BC.

Ms Meng, number 2 of IT giant Huawei, was released on bail yesterday on condition she remain in Canada until a hearing in February. She is accused of circumventing international sanctions against Iran and could be extradited to the United States.

The first Canadian to be detained is Michael Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat living in Beijing. The second is Michael Spavor.

“We have not been able to make contact with him since he let us know about this,” said Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. “We are working very hard to ascertain his whereabouts,” she added.

At the same time, Canadian authorities “continue to raise this with the Chinese government,” said Canada’s Global Affairs spokesman Guillaume Bérubé.

China-based Spavor (pictured with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un) runs an organisation that facilitates business, tourism and sport trips to North Korea.

He was taken into custody on Monday at Dandong airport, a city on the North Korean border, shortly before flying to Seoul for a conference of the Royal Asiatic Society, according to what he announced on social media.

As for possible links between the two cases, both Canadians seem to have at least one thing in common: North Korea.

The former diplomat, a senior Northeast Asia adviser for the International Crisis Group, is an expert on inter-Korean affairs as well as China and Japan.