Canada-China Crisis

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TEICH: Michael Spavor's sham trial in China is classic hostage diplomacy
Author of the article:Special to Toronto Sun
Publishing date:Mar 20, 2021 • 8 hours ago • 3 minute read • comment bubbleJoin the conversation
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is out on bail in Vancouver living a life of luxury and enjoying holiday visits from family amid the pandemic while Canada's Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor remain hostages imprisoned in China.
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is out on bail in Vancouver living a life of luxury and enjoying holiday visits from family amid the pandemic while Canada's Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor remain hostages imprisoned in China. PHOTO BY DON MACKINNON /AFP via Getty Images
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By SARAH TEICH

The sham trial of Michael Spavor, the Canadian consultant who has been held hostage by China for over two years, concluded Friday.


Canadian representatives were barred from attending and the entire trial was held behind closed doors. It reportedly lasted a mere two hours, in which Spavor was ostensibly tried for espionage.

Michael Kovrig’s trial, also for espionage, is upcoming.

Spavor’s trial was a sham, and Kovrig’s will be too.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has made clear that Spavor and Kovrig are being held as hostages, in retaliation for the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, and not because they are actually believed to be Canadian spies. The CCP has made clear that if Canada were to release Meng, that would bode well for the fates of Spavor and Kovrig.

It is classic hostage diplomacy.

The use of sham trials is the CCP trying to provide a veneer of legitimacy to these arbitrary detentions. But a trial cannot provide legitimacy when the accused person is denied their rights to be heard and to have representation, when the trial is held in secret, and when the outcome is predetermined.

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The comparison between the cases of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor and the case of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou seems to hold little water — at least in terms of due process and legal rights.
Suddenly announced trials for Two Michaels a due-process contrast to Meng Wanzhou extradition
A police vehicle believed to be carrying Michael Spavor arrives at Intermediate People's Court, where Spavor was to stand trial, in Dandong, Liaoning province, China March 19, 2021.
Trudeau denounces 'lack of transparency' as China tries Michael Spavor on spy charges

Spavor’s secret trial is not the first time the CCP has used sham trials in this manner, nor is this a phenomenon that is exclusive to China. Rather, sham trials are broadly used by authoritarian regimes in cases where people are detained arbitrarily or as hostages for political gain.

Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a former hostage of the Iranian regime, described her legal proceedings in Iran as a “kangaroo court.”

Dr. Wang Bingzhang, a former Canadian student who has been languishing in Chinese prison for almost twenty years, was also convicted of espionage in a sham trial where he was denied the right to be heard and the right to legal counsel. Like Spavor’s, Wang’s trial was held in secret, and it lasted for less than one day. He has been held in solitary confinement ever since, which is a grave breach of numerous international laws in its own right.

These are just a few examples — there are many more.

These attempts to provide legitimacy to arbitrary detentions fall flat. Spavor is not a spy, any more than Moore-Gilbert and Wang are spies. Spavor is a Canadian consultant who had the bad luck of being present in mainland China shortly after Meng was arrested in Vancouver.


Moore-Gilbert is an academic who had the bad luck of being present in Iran for an academic conference, the bad luck of holding both British and Australian citizenships, and the bad luck of having an Israeli husband back home in Australia. Bingzhang is a pro-democracy activist for a country that regularly imprisons people for such beliefs.

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Spavor and Kovrig have reportedly been held in solitary confinement cells with the lights on 24 hours a day. Bingzhang has been held in solitary confinement for almost twenty years. Moore-Gilbert was held in horrendous conditions as well, in facilities infamously known as some of the world’s worst prisons for women.

We must not be distracted by sham trials into forgetting or discounting this inhumane and illegal treatment. The international community must not be fooled by these sham trials, and must not be fooled into thinking that these detentions are legitimate or legal. Trials are not real or legitimate if the outcomes are predetermined.

Nor must the international community be distracted by these trials and forget the real issues. The real issues are that Canadians have been arbitrarily detained by the CCP for years now, they are held in horrendous conditions in breach of many of their rights, and the Canadian government has not done enough to bring them home.

— Sarah Teich is an international human rights lawyer, a senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, and a legal advisor to the Canadian Security Research Group
 

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Michael Kovrig's espionage trial in China ends, verdict due later
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Mar 22, 2021 • 3 hours ago • 3 minute read • comment bubble32 Comments
Michael Kovrig
Michael Kovrig PHOTO BY JULIE DAVID DE LOSSY /AFP/Getty Images
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BEIJING — The trial of Canadian Michael Kovrig, who has been held in China for more than two years on espionage charges, wrapped up in a closed Beijing courtroom on Monday with the verdict to be announced at an unspecified later date, according to state media.

China arrested Kovrig, a former diplomat, and fellow Canadian Michael Spavor in December 2018, soon after Canadian police detained Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese tech company Huawei Technologies, on a U.S. warrant.


Beijing insists the detentions are not linked to the detention of Meng, who remains under house arrest in Vancouver as she fights extradition to the United States. Beijing has repeatedly called on Ottawa to release her.

She has been fighting the extradition request, and those hearings are expected to wrap up in May in the British Columbia Supreme Court.

The Kovrig trial came just days after the United States raised concerns over the cases at tense talks with China in Alaska. On Monday, Canadian and other diplomats were denied access to the hearing.

William Klein, charge d’affaires of the U.S. embassy in China, told reporters outside the courthouse as he stood beside his Canadian counterpart that the United States would treat the cases of the two men “as if they were American citizens.”

Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said “the eyes of the world are on these cases” and thanked international partners for their support.

In a show of solidarity, 28 diplomats from 26 countries, including the United States, Britain, Germany, Australia, Netherlands and Czech Republic, turned up outside the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate Court on Monday, where there was a heavy police presence.

“We are deeply troubled by the total lack of transparency surrounding these hearings and we continue to work towards an immediate end to their arbitrary detention,” Garneau said in a statement.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also tweeted his support for Kovrig’s release.

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China’s state media outlet CCTV reported that Kovrig and his lawyer were in court and that the verdict, like the one for Spavor, who was tried on Friday, would be announced at a later date.

“We’ve requested access to Michael Kovrig’s hearing repeatedly but that access is being denied” for national security reasons, Jim Nickel, charge d’affaires of the Canadian embassy in China, told reporters outside the Beijing court. “Now we see that the court process itself is not transparent. We’re very troubled by this.”

Jim Nickel, charge d’affaires of the Canadian Embassy in Beijing, talks to the media outside Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court after a trial of Michael Kovrig, a Canadian detained by China in December 2018 on suspicion of espionage, in Beijing, China March 22, 2021.
Jim Nickel, charge d’affaires of the Canadian Embassy in Beijing, talks to the media outside Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court after a trial of Michael Kovrig, a Canadian detained by China in December 2018 on suspicion of espionage, in Beijing, China March 22, 2021. PHOTO BY CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS /REUTERS
Nickel said Canada would protest the lack of access to China’s foreign ministry.

‘SOLIDARITY’

“We are here to show solidarity. Arbitrary detention is not the way,” a diplomat told Reuters, declining to be named as she was not authorized to speak on the record about the trial.


The Canadian side had assembled a group of diplomats to “point fingers” and was “wantonly interfering in China’s judicial sovereignty,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

Some diplomats took off their face masks as they posed for a group photo outside the court, with each shouting out which country they represented to help reporters identify them.

On Friday, Spavor, a businessman, also stood trial in a closed courtroom in the northeastern city of Dandong.

Separately on Monday, the European Union imposed sanctions on four Chinese officials for human rights abuses in Xinjiang, to which Beijing responded with its own sanctions on Europeans.

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Canada, the United States and the U.K. imposed similar sanctions later in the day, with Canada saying there was mounting evidence of “systemic, state-led human rights violations” in Xinjiang.

Amid the wave of diplomatic activity, observers have said the likely convictions of the two men could ultimately facilitate an agreement in which they are released and sent back to Canada.

Chinese courts have a conviction rate of over 99%.

“Michael and Michael Spavor are innocent Canadians caught up in a bigger geopolitical dispute,” Kovrig’s wife, Vina Nadjibulla, told Reuters.

“Their detention is profoundly unjust and our focus must remain on securing their freedom.”
 

petros

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Most is spent on Liberal bureaucrats in Ottawant .
Liberals who want to disarm Canadians.

It's all good tho. I'm sure Trudeau has a coolie hat, a can of tan Kiwi and 50 RMB for an application to join "The Party" to greet them and welcome them to their new colony.
 
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spaminator

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China sanctions MP Michael Chong, federal subcommittee
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Publishing date:Mar 27, 2021 • 4 hours ago • 2 minute read • 8 Comments
Conservative Party Leadership candidate Michael Chong, addresses crowd at the Conservative Party of Canada's final televised debate in Toronto, Ontario, April 26, 2017.
Conservative Party Leadership candidate Michael Chong, addresses crowd at the Conservative Party of Canada's final televised debate in Toronto, Ontario, April 26, 2017. PHOTO BY FRED THORNHILL /REUTERS
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China’s decision to sanction a Conservative MP as well as a Parliamentary subcommittee is an attack on freedom of speech regarding human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday.

“China’s sanctions are an attack on transparency and freedom of expression — values at the heart of our democracy,” Trudeau said on Twitter.


Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau called China’s actions against Tory MP Michael Chong and on the subcommittee on international human rights “unacceptable.”

“The Government of Canada stands with parliamentarians and all Canadians as we continue to work with partners in defence of democracy and freedom of speech and will continue to take action when international human rights obligations are violated,” Garneau said in a statement.

Earlier on Saturday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China said in a news release it has banned Chong from entering the country and prohibited any Chinese citizen from doing business with him. The sanctions also targeted the federal subcommittee on which Chong sits, which is studying the situation of the Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region.

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China said its actions were in response to sanctions levied by Canada on Chinese officials regarding the situation in Xinjiang.

“The Chinese government is firmly determined to safeguard its national sovereignty, security and development interests, and urges the relevant parties to clearly understand the situation and redress their mistakes,” the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.

“They must stop political manipulation on Xinjiang-related issues, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs in any form and refrain from going further down the wrong path. Otherwise, they will get their fingers burnt.”


Canada joined other countries on Monday in imposing sanctions against four Chinese officials and a Chinese entity. Global Affairs Canada said mounting evidence points to state-led abuses by Chinese authorities against more than one million Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities on the basis of their religion and ethnicity. The department said the abuses include “political re-education, forced labour, torture and forced sterilization.”

Trudeau said Monday the sanctions were imposed on China over “the gross and systematic human rights abuses taking place in the region.”


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Chong, the Tories’ foreign affairs critic, said Saturday he has a duty to call out China’s “genocide” of Uyghur Muslims. “We who live freely in democracies under the rule of law must speak for the voiceless,” Chong said on Twitter.

“If that means China sanctions me, I’ll wear it as a badge of honour.”


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China also said Saturday it imposed sanctions against the chair and vice chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedoms.
 

spaminator

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Beware of corrupt business practices in China, Canadians are told
Author of the article:postmedia News
Publishing date:Apr 14, 2021 • 3 hours ago • 1 minute read • 24 Comments
The Chinese national flag is seen in Beijing.
The Chinese national flag is seen in Beijing. PHOTO BY THOMAS PETER /REUTERS
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Canadians doing overseas business in China are being warned by the Trade Commissioner Service to beware of corrupt business practices.

The Dangers Of Engaging In Corrupt Practices — a federal guide for Canadian investors — warns of Communist Party fronts, extortion, bid-rigging and “bribery required to get things done,” according to Blacklock’s Reporter.


“Companies doing business in China are more susceptible to certain risks, including fraudulent reporting, misappropriation of assets, and lack of management integrity,” said the guide.

“Commercial bribery can include bribing client staff. Bribery can include routine gifts, entertainment, and banquets required to establish or maintain ‘guanxi’ or ‘relationships.’”

The guide further warns: “There are instances where foreign companies may not be aware they or their local associates are guilty of misconduct. Beware of the implications of third-party conduct as your company could be liable.”

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Canadians should also be aware of theft or outright extortion by Chinese employees, according to the guide.

“For example, employees might threaten the company, ‘If you don’t give me a raise I’ll steal your intellectual property and sell it to the competitor,’” it says.

The Trade Commissioner Service says whistleblower hotlines are recommended, but companies should look into all confidential reports of any wrongdoing.

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“Please note it is important to verify the veracity of whistleblowers’ complaints to maintain the integrity of the system,” said the guide.

“A further system may be put in place to punish whistleblowers who intentionally or maliciously make false reports.”
 

spaminator

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Chinese court to rule as early as Wednesday on Michael Spavor, says source
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Aug 09, 2021 • 6 hours ago • < 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Michael Spavor is seen in a Jan. 13, 2014 file photo.
Michael Spavor is seen in a Jan. 13, 2014 file photo. PHOTO BY WANG ZHAO /AFP / Getty Images
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BEIJING — A Chinese court is expected to rule as early as Wednesday in the case of detained Canadian Michael Spavor, according to a Canadian source directly familiar with the matter.

Spavor, a businessman, was charged with espionage in June last year along with fellow Canadian Michael Kovrig, at a time when relations between the two countries are at a very low level following Canada’s arrest of a Huawei executive in late 2018.
 
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China court rejects death sentence appeal for Canadian Robert Schellenberg
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Yew Lun Tian and David Ljunggren
Publishing date:Aug 09, 2021 • 4 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
This photograph taken and released by the Intermediate Peoples' Court of Dalian on January 14, 2019 shows Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg during his retrial on drug trafficking charges in the court in Dalian in China's northeast Liaoning province.
This photograph taken and released by the Intermediate Peoples' Court of Dalian on January 14, 2019 shows Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg during his retrial on drug trafficking charges in the court in Dalian in China's northeast Liaoning province. PHOTO BY HANDOUT /AFP via Getty Images / Files
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BEIJING — A Chinese court on Tuesday rejected Canadian Robert Schellenberg’s appeal against a death sentence for drug smuggling.

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The Canadian ambassador to China condemned the court’s ruling and called for clemency.


Ambassador Dominic Barton told reporters that Canada remains remain deeply concerned about China’s arbitrary use of the death penalty.

Barton also said that it is “not a coincidence” that China announced the results of Schellenberg’s appeal while the case involving Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou is ongoing in Canada.

The verdict on Schellenberg comes at a time when relations between the two countries remain frozen following Canada’s arrest of Meng in late 2018.

Schellenberg was detained by Chinese authorities in December 2014, charged with drug smuggling in January 2015, and sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment on Nov. 28, 2018.

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A few days later on Dec. 1, Canada detained Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies, in Vancouver on a U.S. extradition warrant.

China warned of unspecified consequences unless Meng was released.

Before the month was out, a Chinese court ordered a retrial of Schellenberg’s case on Dec. 29 when he appealed against the 15-year sentence.

In January 2019, the Dalian Intermediate People’s Court in China’s Liaoning province re-tried Schellenberg and imposed the death penalty.

The court heard Schellenberg’s appeal against the death sentence in May last year, and confirmed the verdict on Tuesday.

Imposing a harsher sentence following an appeal is contrary to the spirit of Chinese procedural law, Beijing lawyers told Reuters.

Two other Canadians have been charged and tried for espionage.

The verdict for one of them, businessman Michael Spavor, is expected to be out as early as Wednesday, according to a Canadian source directly familiar with the matter.

A second source familiar with the matter confirmed Spavor’s verdict is due this week.
 

spaminator

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O'Toole warns Canadians not safe in China after court upholds death sentence
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Publishing date:Aug 10, 2021 • 10 hours ago • 3 minute read • 77 Comments
Conservative Party Leader Erin O'Toole speaks at a news conference Monday, Aug. 9, 2021 in Belleville, Ont.
Conservative Party Leader Erin O'Toole speaks at a news conference Monday, Aug. 9, 2021 in Belleville, Ont. PHOTO BY LUKE HENDRY /Postmedia Network
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OTTAWA — Federal Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole accused Beijing of using the death penalty for political purposes on Tuesday after a Chinese court upheld the sentence of a Canadian sentenced to death in a drug case.

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O’Toole also reopened the door to a Canadian boycott of next year’s Winter Olympics in China, warning the Chinese government’s recent actions show Canadians are not safe in the country.


“I know how hard our athletes are training for Beijing,” the Conservative leader said during a news conference in Oakville, Ont. “But we are approaching a point where it won’t be safe for Canadians, including Olympic athletes, to travel to China.”

O’Toole’s comments came hours after the Higher People’s Court of Liaoning province in the northeast rejected an appeal by Robert Schellenberg, whose 15-year prison term on drug smuggling charges was increased to death in January 2019.

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This photograph taken and released by the Intermediate Peoples' Court of Dalian on January 14, 2019 shows Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg during his retrial on drug trafficking charges in the court in Dalian in China's northeast Liaoning province.
China court rejects death sentence appeal for Canadian Robert Schellenberg
Michael Spavor is seen in a Jan. 13, 2014 file photo.
Chinese court to rule as early as Wednesday on Michael Spavor, says source

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That followed the December 2018 arrest of Huawei Technologies Ltd. executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on U.S. charges of lying to the Hong Kong arm of the British bank HSBC about possible dealings with Iran in violation of trade sanctions.

China also arrested and later tried two other Canadians, entrepreneur Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig, on spying charges in apparent retaliation for Meng’s detention. Critics have described their arrests as “hostage politics.”

Meng’s lawyers argue the case against the Huawei chief financial officer is politically motivated and what she is accused of isn’t a crime in Canada.


China’s government has criticized the arrest as part of U.S. efforts to hamper its technology development. Huawei, a maker of network equipment and smartphones, is China’s first global tech brand and is at the centre of U.S.-Chinese tension over technology and security.

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Canada’s federal government criticized Tuesday’s ruling upholding the death penalty for Schellenberg as arbitrary and the penalty as “cruel and inhumane.”

“We condemn the verdict in the strongest possible terms and call on China to grant Robert clemency,” Ambassador Dominic Barton told reporters by phone after attending the appeals hearing in Shenyang, about 20 kilometres west of Dandong.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau also said Canada condemns the sentence.

“We have repeatedly expressed to China our firm opposition to this cruel and inhumane punishment and will continue to engage with Chinese officials at the highest levels to grant clemency to Mr. Schellenberg,” Garneau said in a statement Tuesday.

“We oppose the death penalty in all cases, and condemn the arbitrary nature of Mr. Schellenberg’s sentence.”

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Schellenberg was convicted of smuggling 222 kilograms of methamphetamine, according to the court.

O’Toole, who has been pressing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government to take a harder line with Beijing, wasted no time on Tuesday criticizing the Chinese court’s rejection of Schellenberg’s appeal.

“The denial of Robert Schellenberg’s appeals must be seen for what it is: a foreign government planning to take the life of a Canadian for political reasons,” he said. “The use of the death penalty is abhorrent. But to impose it for political reasons is inexcusable.”

He went on to say that Canadians would be watching as a different Chinese court is expected to release its verdict in Spavor’s case on Wednesday, even as a Vancouver court prepares to hear final arguments on whether Meng should be handed over to U.S. authorities.

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“We’re proud of our athletes we’re celebrating,” O’Toole said. “But we also have to recognize the actions of a country that wants to host the Games to bring people together. And we will have to think long and hard on whether we reward a country like that with the Games.”

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said, without offering specific details, that Canada needs to use every resource available to save Schellenberg, Spavor and Kovrig.

“This is a Canadian, we need to save his life,” Singh said of Schellenberg. “And we also know that Mr. Spavor and Mr. Kovrig are still detained and we need to do everything possible to secure their release. Canadians expect us to do that.”

Canada and other governments including Australia and the Philippines face growing Chinese pressure including trade boycotts in disputes over human rights, the coronavirus and territorial claims.
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spaminator

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China jails Michael Spavor 11 years for spying, orders Canadian deported
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Aug 10, 2021 • 4 hours ago • 2 minute read • 8 Comments
Michael Spavor is seen in a Jan. 13, 2014 file photo.
Michael Spavor is seen in a Jan. 13, 2014 file photo. PHOTO BY WANG ZHAO /AFP / Getty Images
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BEIJING — A Chinese court convicted Canadian businessman Michael Spavor of espionage on Wednesday and sentenced him to 11 years in prison, in a case seen in Ottawa and Washington as part of a wider diplomatic spat with Beijing.

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His sentencing comes as lawyers in Canada representing the chief financial officer of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei make a final push to convince a court there not to extradite her to the United States.


The Dandong Intermediate Court also said 50,000 yuan of Spavor’s personal assets will be confiscated and he will be deported, although it was not clear when. Beijing-based lawyer Mo Shaoping told Reuters that deportation generally takes place after the person has finished serving the sentence but may happen earlier for special cases.

China detained Spavor in December 2018, days after Canada arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver International Airport on a warrant from the United States.

He was charged with espionage in June 2019. The Dandong court concluded a one-day trial in March and waited till Wednesday to announce the verdict.

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Spavor’s family said in March the charges against him are vague and have not been made public, and that he has had “very limited access and interaction with his retained Chinese defence counsel.”


Separately, another Canadian, former diplomat Michael Kovrig, was also detained in China in late 2018 days after Meng’s arrest and charged with espionage. His trial concluded in March with the verdict to be announced at an unspecified date.

China has a conviction rate of well over 99%, and public and media access to trials in sensitive cases is typically limited.

Since Meng’s arrest, China has sentenced four Canadians to death over drug charges. They are Robert Schellenberg, Fan Wei, Ye Jianhui and Xu Weihong.

China has rejected the suggestion that the cases of the Canadians in China are linked to Meng’s case in Canada though Beijing has warned of unspecified consequences unless Meng was released.

Meng was charged with misleading HSBC Holdings PLC about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran, potentially causing the bank to violate American economic sanctions against Tehran.

Meng, who has said she is innocent, has been fighting her extradition from under house arrest in Vancouver.

Her extradition hearings in Canada are currently in their last few weeks ahead of a ruling from the judge, expected sometime in the next few months, before Canada’s justice minister makes a final decision on whether to extradite her.
 

Ron in Regina

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Terry Glavin: The giant panda in the room — why the Trudeau Liberals don't want to talk about China http://apple.news/A14hMPCE4RvqwcAjBBdp6og

Blah blah blah Trudeau…it’s at the above LINK…

Earlier this week, in an article that appeared in the English-language propaganda platform Global Times, Canadian voters were warned that Canada would be subjected to “counterstrikes” if voters replaced Trudeau’s Liberals with O’Toole’s Conservatives.

Only two months ago, the federal Communications Security Establishment warned: “We judge it very likely that Canadian voters will encounter some form of foreign cyber interference ahead of, and during, the next federal election.” Similar warnings have been repeated by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians. Canada’s intelligence agencies have also consistently warned that China’s overseas belligerence — its spying, sabotage and influence operations — constitute one of the gravest threats to Canada’s national security.

Even so, Trudeau’s Liberals have been quiet about all this. In their entire 82-page election platform package, foreign policy takes up only a handful of paragraphs interspersed within five pages of pledges and promises that touch upon trade, veterans’ affairs, aid to developing countries, cybersecurity, and so on. China, the most worrisome foreign-policy preoccupation of almost every democracy on Earth, shows up in only one sentence. And even then, it’s only in passing, in the context of the dim view the Liberals purport to take of “illegal and unacceptable behaviour by authoritarian states, including China, Russia, and Iran.”

Jagmeet Singh’s New Democrats pledge to “stand up to China with a strong and coherent strategy” to collaborate with Canada’s allies in a “robust and co-ordinated international response to China’s disregard of the rule of law.” The NDP would also “stand with Hong Kong pro-democracy asylum seekers, and provide co-ordinated support for those facing threats by Chinese entities here in Canada.”

O’Toole proposes to do all that, and much, much more, which is why it’s the Conservatives that Beijing is really worried about. Among other things, the Conservatives would stop payments to the Beijing-dominated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, bar the Huawei Technologies Co. from Canada’s 5G internet connectivity rollout, suspend the Canada-China Legislative Association, and sanction the most senior Chinese officials, including Xi Jinping, over the arbitrary arrest and detention of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. The two Michaels were imprisoned more than 1,000 days ago to retaliate for Canada’s detention of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. Justice Department extradition warrant.

It’s no wonder, then, that the Liberals don’t want the federal election campaign complicated by anyone talking out loud about foreign policy, or the threat of foreign meddling in the federal election, or about China. http://apple.news/A14hMPCE4RvqwcAjBBdp6og
 
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