U.S. warns citizens of arbitrary action in China

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This is the highest level Canadian delegation to visit China since Michael Kovrig, a diplomat on leave from Global Affairs employed by the International Crisis Group in Beijing, and Michael Spavor, an entrepreneur who organized trips to North Korea, were arrested on December 10.

There are approximately 200 Canadians overall who have been detained in China for a variety of alleged infractions and continue to face ongoing legal proceedings, and the number has remained relatively stable in recent years.

The Chinese spokesperson said that Washington "used all kinds of excuses to erect barriers against Chinese citizens entering the US".

Tensions with China increased after Canadian police arrested Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, on December 1 in Vancouver at the request of the United States.

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Earlier Thursday, a Chinese government spokesman said it was not "convenient" to discuss the allegations against Kovrig and Spavor despite an assertion by the country's top prosecutor that they broke the law.

"Without a doubt, these two Canadian citizens in China violated our country's laws and regulations, and are now undergoing investigation according to procedure", Zhang Jun, China's prosecutor general, said.

The Chinese government has only given vague details about the detention of the two Canadians, and it has not drawn a direct link to Meng's arrest.

Zhang said, without elaborating, the investigation process had been handled "strictly" according to law, when asked by Reuters at a briefing when the two men might be charged.

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Those comments don't offer any new information for Kovrig's distressed family and friends, who still don't know why or for how long he's being detained, said Robert Malley, president of the Crisis Group.

"He is living in a very uncertain world - not clear what the charges are, not clear if they are formal charges, not clear what the process will be - and that's sort of what Michael has lived through now for the past three weeks".

Later in the day, Meng is released on $10 million bail.

The two detained Canadians have only had one consular visit since their arrests.

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"I and all the members of the delegation want to do whatever we can to play a constructive role to see the safe and speedy return of the two Canadians", Cooper said in an interview on CTV's Power Play. Pompeo publicly calls on China to release Kovrig and Spavor. Trudeau reaffirms Canada's commitment to the rule of law, "regardless of what goes on in other countries".