BEIJING (Reuters) – China hopes Canada understands the consequences of taking sides with the United States and following its orders, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Friday, after US vice president Mike Pence demanded the release of two Canadians detained in China.
PHOTO FILES: Image of Canadian and Chinese flags taken before the meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse on December 5, 2017 in Beijing. Fred Dufour / Pool via REUTERS / File Photo
The Chinese authorities arrested the Canadian business man Michael Spavor and the former diplomat Michael Kovrig in December, shortly after Canada arrested the financial director of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, Meng Wanzhou, with based in China, mandated by the United States.
He will face extradition to the United States on charges of conspiring to defraud global banks on Huawei's relationship with a company operating in Iran. She and the company denied the charges and China demanded his release.
When asked about Pence's comments, US President Donald Trump would speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping of Canadians detained at a G20 meeting in Japan in June, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang insinuated that Canada would had to blame his problems in China.
"We hope the Canadian side understands the full consequences of extracting chestnuts from the fire on behalf of the United States and no longer affects themselves," Geng told reporters, without further investigation.
Pence, who took a hard line on China, discussed Thursday with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa, where they also talked about Huawei and China's trade issues.
Kovrig and Spavor have been formally accused of spying this month. China has also cut imports of key Canadian products in an attempt to press it.
Canada has defined arbitrary arrests.
During his visit, Pence thanked Canada for defending the rule of law in detaining Meng.
While Canada says that China has not established any specific connection between the two men's detentions and Meng's arrest, experts and former diplomats say they have no doubt that he is using their cases to put pressure on Canada.
Reporting by Cate Cadell; Editing by Ben Blanchard, Robeert Birsel
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