U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said today that two Canadian citizens being held in China are being unlawfully detained and should be returned to Canada.
Pompeo made the comments in Washington D.C. during a joint press conference with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, U.S. Secretary of Defence James Mattis and Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjin. Pompeo also pledged to work to ensure the Canadians’ safe return.
“The unlawful detention of two Canadian citizens is unacceptable. They ought to be returned,” Pompeo said.
“The United States has stood for that whether they are our citizens, or citizens of other countries. We ask all nations of the world to treat other citizens properly and the detention of these two Canadian citizens in China ought to end.”
Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig were detained by China on Monday over what the Beijing News, a state-run Chinese newspaper, described as suspicion of engagement in activities that endanger China’s state security.
Pompeo said the U.S. works to get its own detained travellers returned home and it will “do it in this case as well.”
h/t Flying Elvii