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China denies detained Canadian his diplomatic immunity

first_imgBEIJING — China says a former Canadian diplomat detained in China last month does not enjoy diplomatic immunity, rejecting a complaint from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.Trudeau said last week that Chinese officials are not respecting the diplomatic immunity of Michael Kovrig. He was arrested along with Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor on vague national security allegations after a top Chinese executive with telecommunications giant Huawei was detained in Canada on Dec. 1 at the request of Washington.However, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters Monday that Kovrig is no longer a diplomat and entered China most recently on an ordinary passport and business visa.Kovrig, a Northeast Asia analyst for the International Crisis Group think-tank, took a leave of absence from the Canadian government.The Canadian government has been able to gain access to Spavor and have said it wants to continue to meet with him.Global Affairs says it remains deeply concerned by the arbitrary detention of the two men and reiterates a call for their immediate release.last_img

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