Secretary of State Mike Pompeo departs an event at the State Department in Washington on December 19, 2019. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says his country is sticking with Canada in fighting what he calls China’s “coercive detentions of Canadian citizens.” Pompeo and Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne say they talked Monday about a range of global concerns. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke

Pompeo backs Canada on ‘coercive detentions’ of Canadians in China

China’s attitude toward the United States has grown increasingly belligerent

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says his country is sticking with Canada in fighting what he calls China’s “coercive detentions of Canadian citizens.”

Pompeo and Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne spoke Monday about a range of global concerns, including China, the ongoing crisis in Venezuela, and the United States’ upcoming presidency of the G7 group of countries with large economies.

Champagne said it was ”a very productive call.”

Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor were picked up days after Canada arrested Chinese tech executive Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. extradition warrant related to charges of bank fraud.

Canada has had no luck so far in pressing for their release.

“The United States stands with Canada in calling on Beijing for the immediate release of the two men and rejects the use of these unjustified detentions to coerce Canada,” said a statement from Morgan Ortagus, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department.

Under President Donald Trump, the United States and China have been in a deepening spiral of tariffs and counter-tariffs on each other’s goods, which Trump has said he hopes will end with a major new trade deal that will see China import a lot more American products.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he’s asked the U.S. not to sign a new trade agreement with Beijing until the Canadians are freed.

China’s attitude toward the United States has grown increasingly belligerent. In a regular news conference at China’s foreign ministry this week, spokesman Geng Shuang took aim at the U.S. on several issues, including the weaponization of space and humanitarian aid in Syria.

For instance, Pompeo had criticized Russia and China for voting against a UN Security Council resolution on Syria — a move Champagne called disappointing in a statement on Sunday.

Geng said the crisis in Syria is ultimately the Americans’ fault.

“The world sees clearly who keeps lying with hearts full of hypocrisy and blood on their hands,” Geng said, according to a transcript posted in English on the foreign-ministry website. ”It is they who should repent.”

READ MORE: Chinese embassy takes swipe at ‘some politicians’ over talk of freeing Canadians

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lake Flashback: Haiti relief pours in, political kerfuffle has deep roots, and BCFP acts quickly on PCP leak

We’ve also included a picture of Lake Cowichan Kinsmen rescuing the Duckpond dock

Chris Wilkinson column: Perspective matters now more than later

The point here is that priorities matter. All the time. Every month.

Flooding has closed several roads in Cowichan Valley

All the usual suspects are involved: overflowing ditches, low-lying spots, and huge piles of snow

PHOTOS: Winter Wonderland was a hit at Lake Cowichan

Check out the photos by Malcolm Chalmers

Snow sidelines skills competition, most Jamboree games Saturday

But it’s not over for the skills competition; watch for a new date

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

Uber, Lyft approved for ride-hailing in Lower Mainland

Kater Technologies Inc.’s application was rejected

B.C. man rescued after getting trapped headfirst in well as water level rose

The rescue involved crews from Oak Bay and Saanich

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

Most Read