Trump U.S. Senate ally says Kovrig, Spavor face ‘harsh’ treatment in China

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OTTAWA — A powerful U.S. senator and Trump ally says China is detaining two Canadians in harsh conditions and U.S. lawmakers won’t rest until they are freed.

Idaho Sen. Jim Risch introduced a resolution in the U.S. Senate earlier this week that won rare unanimous support for Canada after it arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in December, on an American extradition warrant.

The chair of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tells The Canadian Press that Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are being treated worse than Meng, who is out on bail in Vancouver.

Kovrig and Spavor were imprisoned in China on allegations they had violated China’s national security, nine days after Meng’s arrest.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland met Risch’s committee in a private session earlier this winter, courting support among Canada’s allies in its ongoing dispute with China.

China’s trade war with the U.S. reached new heights today with the U.S. imposition of tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.