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July 16, 2019
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China Arrests Another Canadian, Adding to Diplomatic Tensions

China Arrests Another Canadian, Adding to Diplomatic Tensions

Ms. Meng, who owns two multimillion-dollar mansions in Vancouver, British Columbia, is on bail and living in one of them while she awaits trial in January. She is seen as corporate royalty in China, and her arrest has been interpreted among the Chinese elite as a signal that the government is unable to protect its most valued people as they travel the globe.

The arrests of the Canadian and of the foreign students and teachers last week come as American business executives have expressed alarm about their safety traveling in China. Washington has warned Americans that the Chinese authorities have blocked a number of Americans from leaving the country, a practice known as exit bans.

Last month, a Chinese-American executive at Koch Industries was interrogated for multiple days in southern China, with the authorities allowing him to leave only after the State Department intervened.

Since Ms. Meng’s arrest, the Chinese government has ratcheted up the pressure on Canada, halting imports of Canadian canola oil and beef. Officials have been unusually brittle in expressing disdain for the country.

“We hope that the Canadian side will not be too naïve,” Geng Shuang, a spokesman at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said this month.

“Canada shouldn’t naïvely think that gathering so-called allies to put pressure on China will work,” he said.

Mr. Geng was referring to Canadian officials asking Washington for help in the release of the former diplomat, Michael Kovrig, and the businessman, Michael Spavor. Both men have been held in secret detention sites, without visits from lawyers or family members.

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada visited the White House in June, he said that President Trump had pledged to raise the detention of Mr. Kovrig and Mr. Spavor when he met with the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, in Japan at the end of that month. It is not known whether Mr. Trump did so.

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