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

UPDATED: PHOTOS: Kiya Bruno sings at Hockey Day in Canada

Bruno will also be a keynote speaker at GoGreen Summit in Bali in March

Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre to host fundraising banquet in Stettler

Centre looking to expand its range of services to local region

Provincial Fair Deal Panel comes to Lacombe

Panel asks whether Alberta is getting a fair deal in confederation

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

Canadians released from coronavirus-ridden cruise ship in Japan fly home

Those who were cleared to travel are to be screened again at Canadian Forces Base Trenton

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

Portrait of the Coastal GasLink, a pipeline to divide a nation

In mid-February, 46 per cent of the pipeline route had been cleared

Alberta ends master agreement with doctors, new rules to be in place April 1

The current master agreement with physicians ends March 31

Alberta rail conductor fired for social media posts awarded money, but not reinstatement

Arbitrator Richard Hornung says that he agreed with the Teamsters union

Most Read