Story 9 – Meng and the Michaels

by David Korzinski | December 24, 2020 12:00 am

Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have now been detained in China for more than two years. In June, Chinese officials announced that they had charged the two with espionage. These charges have been described as baseless and arbitrary[1] by Canadian and international officials. China has denied that the arrest of the two men was in response to Canada’s December 2018 arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who was held at a Vancouver airport at the request of the United States, which hopes to charge her with fraud. Chinese officials reiterated in December that the two men would be released if Canada freed Meng.

When asked in June, most Canadians sided with Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberal government in not interfering with the case and negotiating a prisoner swap, leaving Meng’s fate to the independent judicial system. One-quarter (28%) disagreed and felt that an exchange would be worth pursuing and Meng’s case should be dropped. The Angus Reid Institute also found opinions of China had dropped to historic lows[2] amid this and concerns about the pandemic. We will certainly revisit this issue in the early months of 2021 as the tension continues[3]

  1. baseless and arbitrary:
  2. historic lows:

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