Beijing’s ambassador to Canada accused Ottawa of showing “Western egotism and white supremacy” in the detention of Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Chinese tech giant Huawei. Lu Shaye was responding to Canada&’s demands for the immediate release of two Canadians, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor, who were detained in China last month on vague claims that they threaten Chinese national security.
The detentions are widely viewed as Beijing’s retaliation against the arrest and detention of Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei’s founder as well as its current Chief Financial Officer. Canada has called for Kovrig and Spavor’s release multiple times.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discussed their “arbitrary detention” in a recent phone call with US President Donald Trump, according to a statement from his office carried by CTV News. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also called on China to end the “unlawful detention” of the two Canadians in a joint press conference with his Canadian counterpart Chrystia Freeland last month.
Meng is suspected of violating US sanctions on Iran, and of misleading banks and investors regarding a second company that was making sales to Iran. Writing in Canada’s The Hill Times on Wednesday, Lu also appeared to confirm that China is detaining the two Canadians because of Meng’s detention, referring to it as “self-defense.”