The diplomatic crisis that poisoned relations between Beijing and Ottawa is erupting again: one of the two Canadians imprisoned in China for almost three years accuses his fellow prisoner of being responsible for his arrest and demands millions from the Canadian government .
In December 2018, Canada arrested telecommunications giant Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou at Washington’s request. And a few days later, Canadian businessman Michael Spavor and ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig were arrested in China, a move that was seen at the time as retaliation.
Michael Spavor is now blaming his compatriot Michael Kovrig, to whom he provided information about North Korea without knowing it would be passed on to Canada and its intelligence partners, for the detention, according to information obtained by the Globe and Mail weekly. the Anonymous cites sources.
More than two years after his return to Canada, Michael Spavor is demanding millions of dollars in compensation from the Canadian government.
“These allegations are baseless,” Michael Kovrig told AFP on Monday.
For its part, the Canadian government said that the allegation that one or other of the two Michaels was involved in espionage activities “only perpetuates a false narrative” that China says would explain their detention.
Michael Kovrig “was not a spy,” added the State Department, which did not confirm whether negotiations were underway with Mr. Spavor.
But Beijing said Mr. Spavor’s claim “fully underscores Canada’s hypocrisy,” according to a statement in Chinese sent to AFP from its embassy in Ottawa on Monday.
“We advise Canada to face the facts and think deeply about its own mistakes, rather than blaming others and continuing to attack and discredit China and mislead the public,” the embassy added.
Despite the release of Meng Wanzhou and those Canada calls the “two Michaels” in 2021, tensions remain between the two countries, with Beijing in particular criticizing Ottawa for its alignment with Washington’s China policy and Canadian authorities suspecting China to interfere in his public affairs.
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