China accuses Britain, EU of hypocrisy over Canada detentions concerns

Canadian police arrested Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, on Dec 1. (File/AFP)
Updated 24 December 2018

China accuses Britain, EU of hypocrisy over Canada detentions concerns

  • China expressed “strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition” to comments by Canada, the United States and others
  • “We urge relevant countries to earnestly respect China’s judicial sovereignty,” an official said

BEIJING: China accused Britain and the European Union of hypocrisy on Monday for expressing concern about China’s detention of two Canadian citizens, saying they had double standards for not mentioning a senior Chinese executive arrested in Canada.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Saturday Canada will maintain a high-level campaign in the coming days to seek support from allies as it pressures China to free the two detained Canadians, who China says are suspected of endangering state security.
Freeland spoke a day after the United States joined Canada in calling on Beijing to release the pair, who were held after Canadian authorities arrested a senior Chinese executive on a US extradition warrant. Britain and the European Union have also expressed support for Canada.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing expressed “strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition” to comments by Canada, the United States and others on the detained Canadians.
The two, Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat and an adviser with the International Crisis Group (ICG) think-tank, and businessman Michael Spavor, are suspected of endangering state security so they are “of course” being detained, Hua said.
“We urge relevant countries to earnestly respect China’s judicial sovereignty,” she told a daily news briefing, reiterating their lawful rights have been guaranteed.
The support of Britain and the European Union was “strange,” Hua added.
“What’s this got to do with Britain and the EU? When the Canadians illegally detained a senior executive at a Chinese company at the request of the United States, where were they?” she said.
“Their so-called human rights have different standards for different countries’ citizens,” Hua added.
Kovrig is also a Hungarian and therefore an EU citizen, sources told Reuters last week.
The two were detained after Canadian police arrested Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, on Dec 1.
China again urges Canada to release Meng and the United States to withdraw its arrest warrant, Hua said.
While Meng has had full access to lawyers and is able to see family, Kovrig is being denied legal representation, is not allowed to see family, and is limited to one consular visit a month, sources familiar with the situation say.
No details have been revealed about Spavor’s detention. Canadian diplomats have seen both men at least once since they were detained.
Canada arrested Meng at the request of the United States, which is engaged in a trade war with China. Meng faces extradition to the United States to face fraud charges which carry a maximum sentence of 30 years jail for each charge.
China has given only vague details of why they have detained the two Canadians, and has not drawn a direct link to Meng’s arrest.
Influential state-backed Chinese tabloid the Global Times said in a Monday editorial that Canada would “pay for its bad behavior.”
“Canada’s attempts to resolve a conflict with China by roping in its allies will never work,” it said.


Pompeo: Anti-Daesh coalition should shift focus to Africa

Updated 23 min 42 sec ago

Pompeo: Anti-Daesh coalition should shift focus to Africa

  • Saudi Arabia’s FM and Pompeo discussed joint efforts in confronting terrorism
  • Pompeo urged members of the coalition fighting against Daesh to take extremist detainees back to their countries

LONDON: There is growing concern about the Daesh threat outside of Iraq and Syria, and the coalition fighting the terrorist organization should focus on west Africa and the Sahel region, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday.

Pompeo also urged members of the coalition fighting against Daesh to take extremist detainees back to their countries and step up their funding to help restore infrastructure in Iraq and Syria, parts of which have been severely damaged by conflict.

"Coalition members must take back the thousands of foreign terrorist fighters in custody, and impose accountability for the atrocities they have perpetrated," Pompeo said at the opening of a meeting of foreign ministers from the global coalition to defeat Daesh.
Pompeo vowed that the United States will keep fighting the extremist group, and reassured worried allies convened in Washington.
"The United States will continue to lead the coalition and the world on this essential security effort," Pompeo said as he opened a day of talks in Washington.

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan headed the Kingdom’s delegation at the meeting on Thursday and met with Pompeo.

The foreign minister said that two officials discussed “the strong ties” between their countries and “the joint efforts in confronting terrorism in the region and the world.”

Daesh has lost almost all of its territory in Iraq and Syria. Former leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was killed in a US raid last month, but the militant group remains a security threat in Syria and beyond.
Some 10,000 Daesh detainees and tens of thousands of family members remain in camps and prisons in northeastern Syria guarded by the Syrian Kurdish allies of the United States. Washington is pushing European countries to take their citizens back, but so far they have been reluctant to do so.
(With Reuters)