Second Canadian citizen detained in China

Michael Spavor in file photo released by the official North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)

A second Canadian citizen is being held in China on suspicion of endangering national security, adding to tension after Canada’s arrest of a top Chinese telecom executive on a US request.

Michael Spavor, a China-based business consultant who facilitates trips to North Korea, was placed under investigation on Monday by state security in the northeast city of Dandong, the official Liaoning province news agency said.

His disappearance emerged after former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig was detained by state security during a visit to Beijing. That also occurred on Monday and was under similar suspicions.

Mr Kovrig’s arrest was seen by experts as retaliation over Canada’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, in relation to breaking Iran sanctions.

Mr Spavor is suspected of “engaging in activities that harm China’s national security”, the Chinese news agency added.

Based in Liaoning province, which borders North Korea, he has met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and famously arranged some of retired NBA star Dennis Rodman’s visits there.

The Canadian government had earlier reported that Mr Spavor was missing in China after being questioned.

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About Cholo Brooks 14528 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.