As the trial for one of the two Canadians detained in #China begins on Friday, Michael Spavor's family and Michael Kovrig's boss #Beijing to release both men.…
Canada's foreign ministry said Beijing had not yet granted Canadian officials permission to attend their trials. "Despite several official requests to Chinese authorities, Canadian officials have not yet received permission to attend the trials," the department said.
Spavor's family said they felt it "necessary to speak out and call for his unconditional release," adding that he was innocent of the accusations against him.
"His continued unjust detention depriving him of his liberty is both unfair and unreasonable, especially given the lack of transparency in the case," they said.
Richard Atwood, the president of Crisis Group, where Kovrig worked as a senior advisor, also said in a statement, "After 830 days imprisoned, Michael should be released immediately so he can return home to his loved ones."
Atwood said he was "disappointed" by Kovrig's pending prosecution, which coincides with a high-level meeting between US and Chinese top foreign officials in Alaska, saying: "From the moment he was detained, the political nature of his case has been clear."
"What happens in the Chinese legal system does not change this," he said, while the company's vice president Comfort Ero stressed that Kovrig's work in China was always "in the open and well known to Chinese authorities."
Spavor's family, meanwhile, described him as "just an ordinary Canadian businessman who has done extraordinary things to build constructive ties between Canada, China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea."
"He loved living and working in China and would never have done anything to offend the interests of China or the Chinese people."

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More from @WilliamYang120

21 Mar
While #Taiwan is ranked no. 24 in the 2021 World Happiness Report published by the @UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, it was designated as "Taiwan, province of #China," prompting protest from the Taiwanese government.…
In response to the designation, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York said it has launched a solemn protest, calling for respect for Taiwan's integrity and sovereignty.
"Listing Taiwan under China is false, unacceptable, and a blatant disregard of our country's free and vibrant democracy," the office said on its Twitter page.
Read 8 tweets
21 Mar
An Estonian scientist working at a @NATO research institution focusing on maritime and submarine research has been found to have been recruited by Chinese military intelligence to conduct spy work.…
The spy, Tarmo Kõuts, renowned in the Estonian scientific community for his research, was convicted last week and sentenced to three years in prison. Estonia’s intelligence services had warned for years of the growing Chinese threat, but the conviction was the first of its kind.
"According to Aleksander Toots, the deputy director of KAPO and Tallinn’s top counterintelligence official, Kõuts was recruited in 2018 by #China’s Intelligence Bureau of the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission...
Read 12 tweets
21 Mar
After a tense meeting in Alaska that saw the US and #China reached little consensus in a two-day meeting, #Beijing said both sides will set up a joint working group on climate change, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency.…
The Chinese delegation said after the meeting the two sides were “committed to enhancing communication and cooperation in the field of climate change,” Xinhua said on Saturday.
They would also hold talks to facilitate the activities of diplomats and consular missions, “as well as on issues related to media reporters in the spirit of reciprocity and mutual benefit,” the report said.
Read 5 tweets
21 Mar
Protesters in #Myanmar continue to voice their defiance as they staged candle-lit protests on Saturday night and into Sunday to protest against the security forces and the killing of nearly 250 people. #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar…
Nearly 20 protests were held overnight across the country, from the main city of Yangon to small communities in Kachin State in the north and the southernmost town of Kawthaung, according to a tally of social media posts.
Hundreds of protesters in the second city of Mandalay, including many medical staff in white coats, marched before sunrise in a “Dawn protest”, video posted by the Mizzima news portal showed.
Read 7 tweets
20 Mar
Sources told @Reuters that the Chinese military has banned @Tesla cars fringe entering its compound, citing security concerns. @elonmusk said if Tesla’s cars were used to spy, his company would be shut down.…
“There’s a very strong incentive for us to be very confidential with any information,” Musk told a prominent Chinese forum during a virtual discussion. “If Tesla used cars to spy in China or anywhere, we will get shut down.”
Those restrictions surfaced as the top Chinese and U.S. diplomats were holding a contentious meeting in Alaska, the first such in-person interaction since U.S. President Joe Biden took office in January.
Read 4 tweets
20 Mar
China and the US concluded the first in-person talk since @JoeBiden took presidency in Alaska on Friday. Washington called it a “tough and direct” talk. Many view it as revealing the depth of the tensions between #Beijing and Washington.…
“The talks appeared to yield no diplomatic breakthroughs - as expected - but the bitter rivalry on display suggested the two countries had little common ground to reset relations that have sunk to the lowest level in decades.”
“We expected to have tough and direct talks on a wide range of issues, and that’s exactly what we had,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters moments after the Chinese delegation left the hotel meeting room.
Read 10 tweets

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