Michael Kovrig.Photo: VCG
A former Canadian diplomat detained in China is accused of endangering national security, Chinese domestic media reported late Wednesday.
Michael Kovrig, now working with the International Crisis Group, is under investigation by the state security department in Beijing on suspicion of “engaging in activities that endanger China’s national security,” the government-backed newspaper Beijing News reported on its website, citing an unidentified government source.
Kovrig was reported detained Monday in China. The incident sent another shockwave through China-Canada relations after Canada’s Dec. 1 arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co., on the request of U.S. authorities. A court in Vancouver ruled Tuesday that Meng be released on bail while she awaits a U.S. extradition hearing.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed Tuesday that a Canadian had been arrested in China, though he stopped short of identifying the person.
China’s foreign ministry responded Wednesday to questions about Kovrig at a regular press conference, saying it was unable to provide information regarding reports of his disappearance. But a spokesman of the ministry added that Kovrig’s employer ICG had not registered in China, thus breaking a Chinese law on non-governmental organizations with staff working in the country.