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China formally arrests two detained Canadians in case linked to Huawei

BEIJING — China has formally arrested two Canadian citizens it’s believed to be holding to pressure Canada into releasing a Chinese telecom executive.

The move brings the two men, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, closer to trial on vaguely defined state security charges.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told The Associated Press on Thursday that Kovrig and Spavor have been arrested for allegedly stealing state secrets, but gave no other details.

Kovrig is a former Canadian diplomat and expert at the International Crisis Group, and Spavor is a businessman with lengthy experience in North Korea.

Both were arrested on Dec. 10 after Meng Wanzhou, a senior executive with telecom giant Huawei, was arrested in Vancouver on Dec. 1 at the request of U.S. authorities.

The U.S. wants her extradited to face fraud charges.

The Associated Press

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