Former Canada envoy ‘detained’ in China
A former Canadian diplomat reportedly has been arrested in China.
The International Crisis Group said Tuesday it's aware of reports that its North East Asia senior adviser Michael Kovrig has been detained.
The Brussels-based non-governmental organization said in a statement that it's doing everything possible to obtain additional information about Kovrig's whereabouts and that it will work to ensure his prompt release.
The Globe and Mail in Toronto and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported the arrest, citing unnamed sources.
The reports of Kovrig's detention come after China warned Canada of consequences for its recent arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver's airport. It's unclear if there's any link between the cases.
The International Crisis Group said Kovrig has been one of its full-time experts since February 2017.
The organization's website says Kovrig previously worked as a Canadian diplomat in Beijing and Hong Kong and at the United Nations.
Canada's Global Affairs department didn't immediately respond with comment.
Former Canadian Liberal leader Bob Rae said it's clear why he's been detained.
'It's called repression and retaliation,' Rae tweeted.
Hu Xijin, editor in chief of China's state-run tabloid Global Times, wrote on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo that there isn't any evidence that Kovrig's detention was government retaliation for Meng's arrest, though he added that the current situation was 'highly sensitive' because of a 'American-Canadian conspiracy' to arrest Meng.
'If people in the rest of the world make this association, it's because Meng Wanzhou's arrest was really way over the line. Naturally, people would think that China would take revenge,' Hu said.