Former Canadian diplomat detained in China amid rising tensions: reports

0

OTTAWA — A former Canadian diplomat has reportedly been arrested in China.

The International Crisis Group says it is aware of media reports that Michael Kovrig, its North East Asia senior adviser, has been detained.

A member of the organization wrote in a short email that it has no additional information at this time.

“We are doing everything possible to secure additional information on Michael’s whereabouts as well as his prompt and safe release,” the organization says in a statement.

Canada’s foreign affairs department has yet to respond to a request for comment.

News of Kovrig’s detention comes after China warned Canada of consequences for its recent arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver’s airport — but it is unclear if there is any link between the two cases.

The International Crisis Group says Kovrig has been one of its full-time experts since February 2017.

A profile on the organization’s website says Kovrig previously worked as a Canadian diplomat in Beijing, Hong Kong and at the United Nations in New York. The group says Kovrig, who speaks Mandarin, researches and provides analysis on foreign affairs and global security issues in North East Asia, particularly China, Japan and the Korean peninsula.

The International Crisis Group describes itself as an “independent organization working to prevent wars and shape policies that will build a more peaceful world.”

The Canadian Press