Former Canadian diplomat held in China

A former Canadian diplomat was reportedly detained in China on Tuesday around the same time a Chinese telecom executive appeared in a Vancouver courtroom, but officials said there was no immediate connection between the two cases.

The Associated Press reported that Michael Kovrig was detained in Beijing on Monday night during a visit to the city. He was working in Hong Kong as a regional adviser for a Brussels-based nongovernmental organization.

Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told the AP that Canada is "deeply concerned" about Kovrig's case, but added that there is no explicit connection between his detainment and that of Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou.

ADVERTISEMENT

"A Canadian is obviously in difficulty in China ... We are sparing no effort to do everything we possibly can to look after his safety," Goodale told the AP.

The AP noted that some former government advisers and officials suspected Kovrig's arrest was in retaliation for Meng's.

Meng was in court on Tuesday for bail proceedings, Reuters reported, where a judge in Canada weighed whether she should be released while awaiting extradition.

Canadian authorities earlier this month arrested Meng at the request of the U.S., which alleged that Huawei company violated U.S. trade sanctions against Iran. Her arrest caused financial markets to dip, as it comes amid trade negotiations between the U.S. and China.

China has demanded Meng's release, calling her detention a human rights violation. The country's foreign minister warned that China would take steps in response depending on Meng's status.