A third Canadian citizen, an Alberta teacher who has been teaching in China, faces administrative punishment for illegal employment, ever-increasing the diplomatic tensions between Canada and China.
The Chinese spokesperson, Hua Chunying, told reporters that the detainee Sara Mciver was sentenced for administrative punishment without clarifying what such punishment holds.
Global Affairs Canada, the country’s foreign ministry, said in a statement on Thursday evening that Canadian consular officials have spoken to Mciver, and are supporting her and her family. The communication seems smooth between Toronto and Beijing, and the Canadian government seems to perform its usual consular duties.
Spokesperson Hua noted that this detention differs from the detentions of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor one week ago as the two men have been arrested for endangering China’s national security. Canada’s Prime Minister Justing Trudeau seemed to agree as he said that the third case appears to differ from the previous two detentions on Wednesday.
“The two situations are very different,” he said at a news conference in Ottawa. “The allegations of national security problems, even objectively, is very different from a routine case or a problem with a visa or something of that nature.”
Opposition leader Andrew Scheer proposed to Prime Minister Trudeau to call President Xi Jinping. He tweeted: “Enough is enough. It’s time for the Prime Minister to pick up the phone, call President Xi, demand the safe return of Canadians held by Beijing. Any detention of Canadian citizens for political or diplomatic reasons is completely unacceptable…”.
Professor Nelson Wiseman at the University of Toronto called Trudeau weak and added that his news’ statement would not be received well by Canadians.
He said: “The government thinks that stronger statements will lead to poor treatment of Canadians held by China and possibly result in more Canadians being detained and Canadian businesses in China being hurt by the Chinese government…”.
China’s detentions by China came after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of the technology giant “Huawei”, on 01 December by the request of the USA which accuses her and Huawei of misleading banks about business dealings in Iran.