Secretary of State Mike Pompeo departs an event at the State Department in Washington on December 19, 2019. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says his country is sticking with Canada in fighting what he calls China’s “coercive detentions of Canadian citizens.” Pompeo and Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne say they talked Monday about a range of global concerns. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke

Pompeo backs Canada on ‘coercive detentions’ of Canadians in China

China’s attitude toward the United States has grown increasingly belligerent

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says his country is sticking with Canada in fighting what he calls China’s “coercive detentions of Canadian citizens.”

Pompeo and Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne spoke Monday about a range of global concerns, including China, the ongoing crisis in Venezuela, and the United States’ upcoming presidency of the G7 group of countries with large economies.

Champagne said it was ”a very productive call.”

Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor were picked up days after Canada arrested Chinese tech executive Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. extradition warrant related to charges of bank fraud.

Canada has had no luck so far in pressing for their release.

“The United States stands with Canada in calling on Beijing for the immediate release of the two men and rejects the use of these unjustified detentions to coerce Canada,” said a statement from Morgan Ortagus, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department.

Under President Donald Trump, the United States and China have been in a deepening spiral of tariffs and counter-tariffs on each other’s goods, which Trump has said he hopes will end with a major new trade deal that will see China import a lot more American products.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he’s asked the U.S. not to sign a new trade agreement with Beijing until the Canadians are freed.

China’s attitude toward the United States has grown increasingly belligerent. In a regular news conference at China’s foreign ministry this week, spokesman Geng Shuang took aim at the U.S. on several issues, including the weaponization of space and humanitarian aid in Syria.

For instance, Pompeo had criticized Russia and China for voting against a UN Security Council resolution on Syria — a move Champagne called disappointing in a statement on Sunday.

Geng said the crisis in Syria is ultimately the Americans’ fault.

“The world sees clearly who keeps lying with hearts full of hypocrisy and blood on their hands,” Geng said, according to a transcript posted in English on the foreign-ministry website. ”It is they who should repent.”

READ MORE: Chinese embassy takes swipe at ‘some politicians’ over talk of freeing Canadians

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Eight Township firefighters exposed to COVID-19 now back at work

Online comments suggest the firefighters were not tested for COVID-19 but directed to self-isolate

Aldergrove senior gives blood for 200th time, has ‘saved’ 600 lives

There was no cutting of cake for Harvey Rempel but he’s challenging youth to start donating blood

Strong home sales in early March plunged as virus hit

Sales were trending upwards before physical isolation began

Sources B.C. offers Langley residents ‘one-time crisis loans’ to help pay rent

Individual low income earners could receive a loan for up to $1,200 and $1,600 for a family

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Abbotsford man who tries to start gas-station fight gets sprayed with gasoline

Suspect returns with knife and throws it at victim, but is quickly arrested by police

Abbotsford family of 5 who was stuck in Vietnam is now back home

Janzen family sends ‘huge and heartfelt’ thank you to everyone who helped

Most Read