OTTAWA — liberal senator who will lead in the end of the week a delegation of canadian parliamentarians in China has promised that his group will exercise great caution in calling for the release of two Canadians detained in this country for three weeks.
Joseph Day told The canadian Press that it was crucial to engage directly with parliamentarians chinese, but that his delegation especially didn’t do anything that would affect the fate of the Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.
According to senator Day, the Canada and China can have fundamentally different perspectives on what constitutes the “rule of law”, but the two countries must find a common ground on some fundamental principles — including the right to a lawyer, the right to know what is alleged and the right to defend itself.
Until now, none of this has been granted to MESSRS. Kovrig and Spavor; each of them has received a single visit of ambassador John McCallum, last month.
The detention of the two Canadians is, according to several observers, measures of reprisals from Beijing in the aftermath of the arrest by the royal Canadian mounted police, December 1st in Vancouver, the director of finance of the telecom giant Huawei, at the request of the United States. Meng Wanzhou is facing fraud charges in the United States; she was released on bail in Vancouver pending his extradition hearing.
Senator Joseph Day said that the delegation that he will lead that had been well-informed in world Affairs Canada prior to his departure.
Archives The canadian Press, Fred Chartrand
The chief prosecutor of chinese, Zhang Jun, said Thursday that MESSRS. Kovrig and Spavor had violated the laws of the country and were the subject of an investigation. During the press briefing scheduled for the ministry of foreign Affairs, the spokesman Lu Kang refused to clarify the nature of these allegations.
Senator Day said that the delegation that he will lead at the end of the week had been well informed in world Affairs Canada prior to his departure.
In addition, Mr. Day did not care about the personal safety of members of the canadian delegation, which includes three liberal members of parliament and a conservative, as well as a senator, a liberal and a conservative, all members of the Canada-China legislative Association, a parliamentary association.
The senator of New Brunswick argues that it would be counter-productive to raise the “level of risk” of global Business policy for canadian travellers who go to China. The u.s. State department has updated, Thursday, advice to travellers concerning China, urging american tourists to “exercise caution” because of “the arbitrary application of local laws as well as specific restrictions imposed to us nationals who also possess the chinese nationality”.