Canadian detained in China as Huawei row continues

PRI's The World


Jail today. His name is Michael covert state media in Beijing say says he was detained in connection with national security matters raising fears he could be accused of spying covert detention comes as China is in the middle of a standoff with Canada over the arrest in Vancouver of mung one Joe a top executive with Chinese telecom giant while way that arrest came after a request from the US Justice department just to had fuel to the fire. President Trump told the Washington Post last night that he hopes to use monks case as leverage in his trade spat with China joined a CHU is deep into the story. She's been covering the mum case for the Toronto Star from Vancouver. And she's a personal friend of Michael Kovac? I asked her first how she heard of. His arrest. Well, actually yesterday morning I woke up and I saw his name as subject headings in emails from editors in Toronto. And I figured that Michael. He's a researcher for a very high profile NGO. So I suppose that he gave such a good interview that someone was doing a piece just based on his comments perhaps on hallway the case going on in Vancouver. But then I soon realized that he was actually detained and it was just a really awful realization. And I couldn't reach anyone. It was passed but night in Beijing. So I finally reached Michael's former boss so previous ambassador to China geese ain't jocks who who told me he was also very distressed to learn about the news. How do you know, Michael covert? I work I work in Hong Kong then in late two thousand fourteen I moved to Beijing. And that winter he was one of the first people, I met became friends. He was part of a group of Canadian and European diplomats who are very social always going to. Concerts and having gatherings, and I became part with social group, and he reached out to me also wanted one to to trade notes because we both covered human rights. We were both doing research on Chinese politics. So he was always very eager to talk to others who were in the same field. You know, just to play devil's advocate. I mean, we can't assume the Chinese judicial system is is just making stuff up. Is there any have you ever considered that Michael covert could be a spy? I mean, it's always a possibility. But everyone I've talked to has vehemently denied that he has anything to do with espionage. And he was a Canadian diplomat. And he was a researcher who was doing research on things that really wouldn't have anything to do with what China would consider things that. I would do he was doing stuff about China's relationship with North Korea. He was talking about the the Chinese see. So he was focusing in China's foreign affairs as a researcher after working as a diplomat even covering the case of mung one. Joe the detained hallway executive is there is there any connection between these two vents so formative Basseterre told me that he was very distressed when he heard about Michael being detained. He had experienced this before and she hasn't fourteen to Christian aid workers from candidate Julianne. Kevin Garrett the arrested by Chinese officials in the queues of spying and many believe at the time. It was retaliation for. Arrest in Canada that same year of Chinese citizens to been who was accused of hacking, US military, databases. So we have some linkages here. We have the Holloway case happening playing out in Vancouver. And this is the executive of Chinese company who is being accused by the US a fraud and the US wants to extradite her back to the US and at the same time Michael is detained in possibly accused of some quite serious things.

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