Canada's Trudeau: Trump spoke to China about detained Canadians, pressure campaign is working

FILE PHOTO: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during Canada Day festivities on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Patrick Doyle/File Photo

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday said U.S. President Donald Trump had raised the case of two detained Canadians with China and insisted Ottawa’s efforts to pressure Beijing were working.

China detained the two men after Canadian police arrested Huawei Technologies Co Ltd chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou last December on a U.S. warrant. Trump met Chinese President Xi Jinping at a Group of 20 summit on Saturday but said he had not discussed her case.

“I can confirm that Donald Trump has spoken to his Chinese counterpart on the question of the Canadians who have been detained in China,” Trudeau told reporters in Montreal.

A Canadian government source, who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the case, said the information had come from U.S. officials. The U.S. government was shut on Thursday for the July 4 Independence Day holiday.

Canada has been asking allies to raise the matter of the two men in their interactions with China, a pressure campaign that Beijing on Wednesday dismissed as ineffectual.

“Our approach - highlighting around the world the concerns that people have with the arbitrary detention of two Canadians by China - is working ... countries are concerned not just for (the) Canadians but for the challenges this poses to the rule of law and to the international rules-based order,” Trudeau said.

Reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal and David Ljunggren in Ottawa, writing by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Sandra Maler