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The arrests of Michael Spavor, pictured here, and Michael Kovrig are seen as retaliation by China for the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver.

The Canadian Press

The federal government says diplomats visited Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor today for the third time since he was arrested in China in December on allegations of endangering Chinese national security.

A statement by Global Affairs Canada says the government continues to be deeply concerned by the “arbitrary” detentions of Spavor and fellow Canadian Michael Kovrig, who was also arrested last month on similar allegations.

The department has said that Kovrig, a Canadian diplomat on leave from his job, has received two consular visits.

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Canada is pushing for more consular access to both men and has demanded their immediate release.

The arrests of Spavor and Kovrig are in apparent retaliation for Canada’s December arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou at the request of the United States.

The arrest of the Chinese telecom giant’s executive — and her potential extradition to the U.S. to face charges of fraud and conspiracy — have angered China, which says she’s done nothing wrong.

China has demanded her release and has warned of serious consequences for Canada if it fails to do so.

Read more: NATO chief urges China to treat detained Canadians ‘fairly and with due process'

Open letter: Mr. Xi, release these two Canadian citizens

Explainer: Canadians and Chinese justice: A who’s who of the political feud so far

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