Canada says missing Canadian is businessman Michael Spavor

Canada says missing Canadian is businessman Michael Spavor

Canadian businessman Michael Spavor (left) shaking hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
Canadian businessman Michael Spavor (left) shaking hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (Photo: LinkedIn/Michael Spavor)

BEIJING: Canada's Foreign Ministry said it has been unable to contact Canadian businessman Michael Spavor since he notified the government that he was being questioned by Chinese authorities.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland earlier told reporters that a second Canadian citizen could be in trouble in China. Authorities in China are already holding former diplomat Michael Kovrig, who was detained on Monday (Dec 10).

Foreign ministry spokesman Guillaume Berube said in a statement issued in Canada late on Wednesday the missing Canadian was Spavor, a businessman who is based in the northern Chinese city of Dandong.

"We are aware that a Canadian citizen, Michael Spavor, is presently missing in China," he told AFP in an email.

"We have been unable to make contact since he let us know he was being questioned by Chinese authorities. We are working very hard to ascertain his whereabouts and we continue to raise this with the Chinese government."

Spavor runs the Paektu Cultural Exchange, an organisation that facilitates business, tourism and sport trips to North Korea and famously helped former NBA star Dennis Rodman visit the isolated country.

READ: Chinese state media urges Canada to defy US, free Huawei executive

READ: Crisis Group says no word from China on detained Canadian employee

The arrest and disappearance of two Canadian nationals comes more than a week after Ottawa infuriated Beijing by arresting Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, at Washington's request.

Meng was released on a US$7.5 million bail by a court in Vancouver on Tuesday.

Source: Reuters/AFP/ic

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