China: Two Canadians Charged with Espionage – Update
On June 19, 2020, Chinese authorities formally charged two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor (known as the “Two Michaels”) with spying (espionage). Both were arrested in China in December 2018. Given Canada’s mediocre, if not non-existent, role in international affairs (e.g. it was beat out for a recent UN Security Council seat by Norway and Ireland), these charges are ridiculous. Spying for Canada? Really? The Chinese authorities honestly expect us to believe that!
In effect, the Two Michaels are being held for ransom, as the Communist Chinese government wants Canada to release Meng Wanzhou, a top executive at the Chinese telecommunications company, Huawei. She is being held in Vancouver, awaiting extradition to the USA for bank and wire fraud. While the Two Michaels are being held in prison with no contact from the outside, Meng Wanzhou is being allowed to live in luxury at her $14 million (CDN) 7-bedroom mansion in the fashionable Shaughnessy district.
Recently several prominent American politicians (both Republican and Democrat) have joined together to speak out against their wrongful arrest and to fight for their release. No such action has taken place in Canada. The moral of the story may be: if you are a Canadian and get arrested in China (or elsewhere), call the American Embassy, as they will actually try to help you!