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

Okanagan whisky lottery adds new twists

Winners of Okanagan Spirits’ Laird of Fintry lottery announced in four batches beginning Sept. 28

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Fuel Good Day pumps up Okanagan-Shuswap organizations

Thousands raised by annual Armstrong Regional Co-op fundraiser Sept. 15

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

United Way celebrates seven decades of impact in Southern Interior

Organization sees issues with poverty, mental health and addictions, heighten during the pandemic

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Three arrested after Keremeos shooting that severely injured one man

The victim was transported by air ambulance to a regional hospital

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

UPDATE: One dead after motorcycle collision on Highway 97 near Peachland

The collision closed Highway 97 off-and-on throughout Sunday afternoon

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

West Kelowna Warriors complete sweep of Vernon Vipers

Warriors edge Snakes 2-1 as Okanagan Cup BCHL exhibition tournament begins

Most Read