Thirteen Canadian detained in China since Huawei’s CFO arrest: Canadian government

A man holds a Chinese flag outside the B.C. Supreme Court bail hearing of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou on Dec 11 2018

The travel guidance issued by the USA which maintained the warning at "Level 2" also warned about extra security checks and increased police presence in Xinjiang and Tibet.

"I think this figure speaks volumes for the security condition in China", Lu said, adding that it far outnumbers the number of Chinese people visiting the U.S. Under Chinese criminal procedure law, special forms of detention and interrogation can be used for state security suspects.

In an official statement, spokesperson Guillaume Bérubé said: "We can confirm that at least eight have been released".

"I and the other members of the delegation will engage with Chinese officials in as constructive way as possible, with the obvious objective of seeing these two Canadians returned safely and as soon as possible", Cooper said.

The two were detained after Canadian police arrested Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou on December 1 in Vancouver, at the request of the United States. USA prosecutors have blamed her for misdirecting banks about transactions connected to Iran, putting the banks in danger of violating US sanctions.

Canadian newspaper, the Globe and Mail, reported that China had detained 13 Canadians since Meng's arrest. Michael Kovrig, who was on leave from Global Affairs Canada, and entrepreneur Michael Spavor.

Chinese government officials are saying it's not "convenient" to discuss the alleged national security threats - this while the Huawei CFO is treated like royalty here in comparison.

Beijing, however, said the detention of these two men was not linked to Meng's arrest, but analysts called it a "tit-for-tat" action.

The warning adds: "China does not recognize dual nationality".

The rights of foreign nationals in China have received renewed focus because of public concern over the fate of three USA citizens accused of committing "economic crimes" in the country.

Reports say the travel guidance issued by the U.S. comes after the detentions of two Canadians in China last month and came amid heightened diplomatic tensions in the wake of the arrest in Canada of a top executive in Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.

They were barred from leaving China in November.

While Meng has had full access to lawyers and is able to see her family, Kovrig is being denied legal representation, isn't allowed to see family, and is limited to one consular visit a month, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters. On Thursday, China's top prosecutor said they had "without a doubt" violated the law. Earlier in the day, a group of 36 Australian academics demanded their government "call for the immediate release of these two detainees".

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