Canada's ambassador to the U.S. says the Chinese government initiated the dialogue to release Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, noting that the U.S. did not make the freedom of the two Canadians a condition of the deferred prosecution agreement reached with Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.www.ctvnews.ca
She says the U.S. did not make the release of the two Michaels a condition of the resolution of the charges against Meng, noting that the resolution was a completely independent process.
“As the resolution for Ms. Meng was heading towards success… the Chinese government made its decision,” she said.
“And its decision was that it was no longer in its interest to continue holding Michaels, and so they started the process in talking to our officials in Beijing about making arrangements to have the Michaels leave
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Garneau said the detention of the two Michaels had harmed China's image internationally, as shown by growing support for an international declaration against arbitrary detention.
"It's fine for countries to have disagreements, but you cannot resort to arbitrarily putting citizens of another country in jail because you're not happy with that country."