Canada confirmed on Wednesday that a third Canadian citizen has been detained in China.

The news comes days after China’s detention of Canadian citizen Michael Spavor and ex-Canadian diplomat Michael Korvig. It also follows the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Canada on December 1.

canada flag
File photo: Abdallahh, via Flickr.

“Global Affairs Canada is aware of a Canadian citizen detained in China. Consular officials are providing assistance to the family,” a spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada told HKFP on Wednesday.

“Due to the provisions under the Privacy Act, no further information can be disclosed,” she added.

In newspaper reports, the spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada did not link the incident to Meng’s arrest. The spokesperson did not make a connection between the most recent detention of a Canadian citizen with that of Spavor and Kovrig.

“There is no reason to believe that this case is linked to other recent cases of Canadians detained in China,” she told HKFP.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a regular press conference on Wednesday that she had not heard about the case of the third detainee when asked about it by reporters.

China said the two other Canadians were detained by the authorities for participating in activities “harming national security.”

Michael Kovrig Michael Spavor
Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. Photo: Twitter.

Sources cited by the National Post said the third detainee was not a diplomatic official, nor an entrepreneur operating in China.

Meng, Huawei’s chief financial officer, faces US fraud charges of “conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions.”

She was arrested in Vancouver while transferring planes on a trip from Hong Kong to Mexico, at the request of US authorities seeking her extradition. She has since been released on bail pending a hearing in February next year.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.