ess than two weeks after a senior Huawei executive was arrested in Canada, a former Canadian diplomat has reportedly been detained in China.
Two sources have told Reuters that Michael Kovrig has been detained by Chinese authorities. Kovrig worked as a diplomat from 2003 to 2016 with stints in Beijing and Hong Kong. His current employer is the think tank International Crisis Group which released a short statement today, saying that it was “doing everything possible to secure additional information on Michael’s whereabouts as well as his prompt and safe release.”
At this time, nothing more is known about Kovrig’s alleged detention or the reason behind it.
However, it comes only shortly after Canadian authorities detained Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and the daughter of the company’s founder. The arrest came at the request of the United States, which is investigating Huawei for violating sanctions against Iran.
The arrest has infuriated China which has warned that Canada will face “serious consequences” if Meng is not quickly released. It’s not yet clear if the two cases are connected, however, the Canadian and American business community in China have been living in fear of possible reprisals.
On Twitter, Kovrig himself has tweeted multiple times about the Meng saga and Huawei, once tweeting out his support for the Chinese telecoms company being barred from helping to develop the UK’s new 5G network.
Sensible cautionary advice on Huawei: https://t.co/WgGb8AMhp1
— Michael Kovrig (@MichaelKovrig) December 7, 2018