UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — China has suspended another Canadian citizen while relations between Ottawa and Beijing are strained, the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday, citing the reason for his arrest.
“The Department of World Affairs at the ministry is aware of the arrest of a Canadian citizen in Yantai, China,” a ministry spokesman told AFP.
“Canadian officials are providing consular assistance,” he said, but details could not be disclosed because of the privacy laws.
Earlier this year, Beijing suspended two Canadians following the arrest of Ming Wenchu, financial director of China’s telecom giant Huawei in Vancouver at the request of the United States.
But a source familiar with the file said there was no evidence that the arrest of this Canadian recently linked to the arrest of other Canadians former diplomat Michael Kufreg and consultant Michael Savor.
Canadians face charges of espionage, which Ottawa called “arbitrary” and raised doubts that they might be in retaliation for the Huawei’s detention in Canada.
China has sentenced two more Canadians to death for drug trafficking and banned the import of Canadian agricultural products.
It is not yet clear whether the latest arrest of the Canadian was linked to the arrest of 19 people last week in a drug case involving a local branch of a language school in Xuzhou City, southwestern Yantai.
The Chinese authorities announced the arrest of a number of people in this case, including seven teachers and nine foreign students did not specify their nationality.
The British embassy in Beijing said four of its citizens had been arrested in Jiangsu Province, where Xuzhou is located without specifying whether their arrest is linked to the drug case.
The Swiss-based First Foundation, which runs a series of language schools in China, said in a statement this week that seven of its teachers were involved in the drug case at one of its branches in Xuzhou.
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