Canada granted consular access to ex-diplomat held by China

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The shift is significant because, so far, German officials have said they see no legal basis to exclude any vendors from the buildout of fifth-generation networks in response to warnings from Washington that Huawei's networks were not safe.

China's spy agency has also detained two Canadians in the past week, which some view as retaliation for Meng's arrests, although China has deflected questions about any links. She was released this week on $10 million bail, but will face a Canadian court hearing to determine whether she will be extradited to the U.S. "This action has aroused public anger in China".

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan are holding talks with their US counterparts in Washington Friday that will focus on Beijing's detention of the two Canadians caught up in an worldwide dispute over Ms. Meng's arrest.

Chinese authorities arrested Kovrig and Spavor on suspicion of "engaging in activities that endanger the national security" of China.

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Official have still not been in contact with entrepeneur Michael Spavor, who is the second Canadian detained.

Spavor is a China-based business consultant who facilitates trips to North Korea, met with its leader Kim Jong Un and arranged some of retired National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman's trips to the country.

Yet a Thursday editorial in China Daily, the Communist Party's foreign-facing mouthpiece newspaper, rejected claims that the recent arrests were in any way retaliatory.

Lu Shaye, China's ambassador to Canada, on Friday told a university conference that the prospects for deeper business ties were good despite the dispute.

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"Washington naturally assumes the compulsory measures Beijing has taken are politically motivated - an expedient move on Beijing's part to retaliate against Ottawa - since that is how [Washington] operates", the editorial said.

"From Canada's perspective, these kinds of issues ought never to be confused with one another", she said.

Earlier this week, U.S. President Donald Trump complicated Canada's position when he said he might intervene in the Huawei case if it would help clinch a trade agreement with China, upending U.S. efforts to separate the court proceeding from U.S.

She said any remarks from the US could be used by Meng's lawyers at her extradition hearing.

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"And I believe it is obvious that democratic countries, such as our partner, the United States, do the same", she said. Freeland said that details of the visit by Canada's ambassador to China, John McCallum, had been shared with Kovrig's family, but she declined to disclose more information, citing the need to respect Kovrig's privacy. "Canada continues to press for consular access to Michael Spavor". As of Wednesday, Canadian authorities had been notified, by fax, only of Kovrig's arrest.

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