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Third Canadian held for working illegally in the country: China

Third Canadian held for working illegally in the country: China

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said earlier that the other two Canadians, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and business consultant Michael Spavor, are accused of endangering China's national security.

Sarah McIver, the third Canadian detained in China for illegal employment, is a teacher from Alberta. While China's ZTE pleaded guilty to similar transgressions in 2017 and nearly went bankrupt earlier this year after violating the original settlement and prompting further sanctions from Washington, Ms. Meng's case is possibly even more serious seeing how the Justice Department is accusing her of being personally involved in a conspiracy to import American goods into Iran.

McIver's case comes against a backdrop of escalating tensions between China and Canada, which arrested Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wangzhou on December 1.

No details have been given on the latest, but Trudeau said it was "a very separate case" from last week when former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor were detained amid the diplomatic quarrel triggered by Meng's arrest.

Citing anonymous sources, Canadian outlet the National Post reported that the detainee is an Alberta woman named Sarah McIver, who had been teaching at a school in China before being taken into custody due to visa complications.

Trudeau has been under pressure to take a more robust stand on the detentions, but said at a news conference: "Political posturing or political statements aren't necessarily going to contribute".

He added that White House officials had communicated with the Justice Department and Chinese officials about the Meng case but said he had not personally spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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Trudeau pointed out that the situation "is evaluated" and recognized in turn in China the second largest economy in the world, with which Canada is interested in developing commercial ties to mutual benefit.

US lawmakers wrote to Trudeau in October urging him to block Huawei from 5G in Canada, and American officials ramped up pressure on Germany over the same issue this week.

The Canadian Government has said several times it saw no explicit link between the arrest of Ms Meng, the daughter of Huawei's founder, and the detentions of Mr Kovrig and Mr Spavor.

McIver's case did not relate to national security and her detention was an "administrative penalty", Hua said.

Bob Rae, who briefly led Canada's Liberal Party (2011-2013) before handing the reins to Trudeau, urged the government to develop a "robust, principled and effective response" to Beijing's actions. The Huawei Electronics executive is on bail in Vancouver awaiting possible extradition to the U.S. for alleged violations of sanctions against Iran by the firm.

China has demanded Meng's immediate release and summoned the Canadian and USA ambassadors to complain about the case.

This third detention raises concerns, O'Toole said. "There are obviously regular situations where Canadians require consular assistance". Meng has been released on bail.