China has detained another Canadian citizen, authorities in Canada have said, adding to the high tensions between the two countries’ governments.
The person, who was not identified by the Canadians, was arrested last week in the eastern Chinese city of Yantai, according to Global Affairs Canada, the country’s foreign ministry. The Canadian being held in custody has received consular services, the ministry said Saturday.
The two countries have been at odds since December, when China arrested two Canadians – a former diplomat and a businessman – who were later charged with espionage.
Their arrests are believed to have been in retaliation for the arrest by Canada that same month of a senior executive at Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant that the United States has declared a security threat. Chinese courts have also sentenced two other Canadians to death on drug-related charges.
The detention of the Canadian last week occurred at about the same time as the arrest of a number of foreign teachers and students on drug charges in the city of Xuzhou, also in eastern China.
At least four of the 16 arrested in Xuzhou were British teachers, according to the British Embassy in Beijing.
The arrest of the Canadian could be a drug case related to the other arrests or it could have been a way for China to send another signal to Canada that it wants the Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, to be released, according to a Canadian former official, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the cases.
Canada arrested Ms. Meng at the behest of the Trump administration after Washington requested her arrest and extradition on the grounds that she was responsible for Huawei violating economic sanctions against Iran.
Ms. Meng, who owns two multimillion-dollar mansions in Vancouver, is on bail and living in one of them while she awaits trial in January. She is seen as corporate royalty in China, and her arrest has been interpreted among the Chinese elite as a signal that the government is unable to protect its most valued people as they travel the globe.
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