Thursday, December 13, 2018

SECOND Canadain Missing In China As Country KICKS

Canada's foreign ministry says it is trying to make contact with a second Canadian who is believed to have been detained in China.

Michael Spavor, a businessman based in Dandong near the North Korean border, had contacted Canadian officials this week to say he was being questioned.

Foreign ministry spokesman Guillaume Bérubé said Canada was working hard to determine Mr Spavor's whereabouts.

It comes after former diplomat Michael Kovrig was arrested in China this week.

Canadian officials say the reason for Mr Kovrig's detention remains unclear

But Chinese state media have reported that Mr Kovrig is being held "on suspicion of engaging in activities that harm China's state security".

Mr Kovrig currently works for a think thank, the International Crisis Group (ICG), which has said it is concerned for his health and safety.

At a news conference in Ottawa on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Mr Kovrig's case had been raised directly with Chinese officials.

She also said a second Canadian had contacted them earlier in the week because "he was being asked questions by Chinese authorities".

She did not name the individual, saying it was "delicate situation" and she wanted to respect his privacy.

But Mr Bérubé later named the man in a statement as Mr Spavor and said he was "presently missing in China".

China state media confirmed on Thursday that, as with the previous arrest, Mr Spavor was under investigation on suspicion of "engaging in activities that endanger China's national security".

Mr Spavor runs an organisation called Paektu Cultural Exchange, which organises business, culture and tourism trips to North Korea.