January 11, 2019 / 8:03 PM / 7 days ago

Canada PM chastises China over detention of two citizens

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a news conference at the final day of the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina December 1, 2018. REUTERS/Martin Acosta/File Photo

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday chastised China again over the detention of two Canadians and defended his country’s arrest of a senior Chinese executive at the request of the United States, which has sparked a diplomatic row between Canada and China.

“It is unfortunate that China has arbitrarily and unfairly detained two Canadian citizens,” he told reporters in the western Canadian city of Regina in Saskatchewan.

The two Canadians were held last month after the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co [HWT.UL], in Vancouver on Dec. 1.

In an article in the Ottawa-based Hill Times newspaper on Wednesday, Ambassador Lu Shaye said Canada’s demands for the release of the two men reflected “double standards” born of “Western egotism and white supremacy”.

Trudeau, asked about the comments, said Canada had simply acted in accordance with the rule of law. Meng has been released on bail and is living in her Vancouver home awaiting further extradition proceedings.

“Canada is a country of the rule of law. This is something that we know and we value,” Trudeau said. “We have a justice system that is not subject to political interference.”

Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny in Toronto and Julie Gordon in Vancouver; editing by David Ljunggren and James Dalgleish

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