Officials not linking latest arrest to the recent diplomatic turbulence
A third Canadian has been taken into custody in China, according to Global Affairs Canada.
Canadian officials declined to provide any detail about who the individual is or why they are being detained, citing privacy concerns.
“Global Affairs Canada is aware of a Canadian citizen detained in China. Consular officials are providing assistance to the family,” said spokesperson Maegan Graveline
A source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said Canadian officials found out about the detention on Tuesday by someone who knows the latest detainee — not by Chinese officials.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing on Wednesday that she had not heard of the third detention.
The latest arrest, first reported by the National Post, comes amid growing tensions between Canada and China.
Canada has faced harsh criticism from Chinese officials and media since Meng Wanzhou, a top executive with China-based telecom giant Huawei, was arrested in Vancouver earlier this month. Meng was arrested at the request of U.S. officials and released on bail pending extradition proceedings.
Not long after Meng’s arrest, Chinese officials confirmed two Canadian men were detained on national security concerns, officials in China said.
One of the Canadians, Michael Kovrig, served as a diplomat with GAC but was on leave to work with a non-governmental organization at the time of his arrest in China. The other man, Michael Spavor, is a businessman who arranges tours of North Korea.
Canadian officials did not connect the most recent arrest to the recent diplomatic turbulence between the countries.