When the US published its latest travel advisory warning its citizens about the “arbitrary law enforcement” risks they could face in China (and offering a list of recommended precautions for those obstinate enough to ignore the government’s warnings), some wondered, why now? With trade negotiations set to begin in earnest next week, one would think that the US wouldn’t want to kick the hornet’s nest (though, in fairness, the DOJ’s steady stream of indictments against Chinese government-sponsored hackers have continued, as has the prosecution of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou).
Well, Canada’s Globe and Mail might have just answered that question by confirming that the Beijing’s suspected retaliation against Ottawa over Meng’s arrest has been even more severe than previously believed. According to the paper, 13 Canadians have been detained in China since Dec. 1 – the day Meng was arrested by Canadian authorities after landing in Vancouver.
Spavor and Kovrig
Until now, the arrests of only three Canadians – those of businessman Michael Spavor, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and teacher Sarah McIver (who has been deported) – had been publicly known…
In its travel advisory, the US warned about Beijing’s tendency to issue “exit bans” for foreigners without informing the target – sometimes they don’t learn of the ban until they try to leave China and are stopped at airports or the border.