Secretary of State Mike Pompeo departs an event at the State Department in Washington on December 19, 2019. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says his country is sticking with Canada in fighting what he calls China’s “coercive detentions of Canadian citizens.” Pompeo and Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne say they talked Monday about a range of global concerns. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke

Pompeo backs Canada on ‘coercive detentions’ of Canadians in China

China’s attitude toward the United States has grown increasingly belligerent

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says his country is sticking with Canada in fighting what he calls China’s “coercive detentions of Canadian citizens.”

Pompeo and Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne spoke Monday about a range of global concerns, including China, the ongoing crisis in Venezuela, and the United States’ upcoming presidency of the G7 group of countries with large economies.

Champagne said it was ”a very productive call.”

Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor were picked up days after Canada arrested Chinese tech executive Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. extradition warrant related to charges of bank fraud.

Canada has had no luck so far in pressing for their release.

“The United States stands with Canada in calling on Beijing for the immediate release of the two men and rejects the use of these unjustified detentions to coerce Canada,” said a statement from Morgan Ortagus, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department.

Under President Donald Trump, the United States and China have been in a deepening spiral of tariffs and counter-tariffs on each other’s goods, which Trump has said he hopes will end with a major new trade deal that will see China import a lot more American products.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he’s asked the U.S. not to sign a new trade agreement with Beijing until the Canadians are freed.

China’s attitude toward the United States has grown increasingly belligerent. In a regular news conference at China’s foreign ministry this week, spokesman Geng Shuang took aim at the U.S. on several issues, including the weaponization of space and humanitarian aid in Syria.

For instance, Pompeo had criticized Russia and China for voting against a UN Security Council resolution on Syria — a move Champagne called disappointing in a statement on Sunday.

Geng said the crisis in Syria is ultimately the Americans’ fault.

“The world sees clearly who keeps lying with hearts full of hypocrisy and blood on their hands,” Geng said, according to a transcript posted in English on the foreign-ministry website. ”It is they who should repent.”

READ MORE: Chinese embassy takes swipe at ‘some politicians’ over talk of freeing Canadians

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Got rhythm? Join in with SAMAJAM in Cranbrook

Anyone who has ever attended a concert and wanted to be a… Continue reading

Fundraiser launched for Elkford boy with leukemia

Rhys was diagnosed on September 16, 2019 with B-Cell Leukemia at the… Continue reading

Ghostriders take home seventh consecutive win

This past Sunday, the Ghostriders challenged Spokane’s Braves in a fiery match… Continue reading

Extreme cold warning for the Elk Valley

The Elk Valley, along with the majority of British Columbia, is under… Continue reading

Sparwood hosts annual Chip or Burn event

Firefighters and residents beat the winter weather by warming up around a… Continue reading

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

On the job hunt with Nelson’s Make A Change Canada

The employment charity is organizing next week’s Kootenay Patricks, Montreal Canadiens game

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Most Read