Former Canadian diplomat detained in China

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Michael Kovrig’s employer, the International Crisis Group, is seeking his release but it is unclear if the case is related to Meng Wanzhou.

A former Canadian diplomat has been detained in China, and his current employer, the International Crisis Group, said it was seeking his prompt and safe release.

Michael Kovrig’s detention comes after police in Canada arrested Huawie’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou on 1 December at the request of USauthorities, a move that infuriated Beijing.

Saying he was “deeply concerned,” Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale confirmed that a Canadian citizen had been detained in China, but he provided no details on who it was.

Goodale said there was “no explicit indication at this moment” that the Canadian’s detention was linked to Meng’s arrest.

Meng was due in court on Tuesday on the third day of a bail hearing in Vancouver

“International Crisis Group is aware of reports that its north-east Asia senior adviser, Michael Kovrig, has been detained in China,” the thinktank said in a statement.

“We are doing everything possible to secure additional information on Michael’s whereabouts as well as his prompt and safe release,” it added.

China’s foreign ministry and ministry of public security did not respond immediately to questions faxed earlier about Kovrig’s detention.

The exact reason for the detention was not immediately clear.

The Canadian embassy declined to comment, referring queries to Ottawa.

Calls to Kovrig’s phones were not answered.

Kovrig, a Mandarin speaker, has been working as a full-time expert for the International Crisis Group since February 2017.

From 2003 to 2016, he worked as a diplomat with stints in Beijing and Hong Kong, among others, according to his profile on LinkedIn.

The Guardian/Reuters

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