“The Canadian government remains deeply concerned about the arbitrary detention by the Chinese authorities of these two Canadians since December 2018 and continues to call for their immediate release,” the government said in a statement.Canada continues to press Beijing to release Kovrig and Spavor, who were detained in December 2018 after Canada’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou, a Chinese Huawei official and the daughter of the company founder.
Canadian police detained Meng in Vancouver on a US extradition request nine days before Kovrig and Spavor were arrested.
The United States seeks Meng’s extradition for fraud, and his extradition case is before Canadian courts. His arrest severely damaged relations between China and Canada.
Neither Kovrig, a former diplomat, nor Spavor, an entrepreneur, have been allowed to visit consular officials amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Huawei affair has strained Canada-China relations, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Donald Trump discussed the issue during a phone call on Saturday.
Trudeau thanked Trump for US support in “the search for the immediate release of the two Canadian citizens arbitrarily detained by China,” the Canadian government said.