Canadian teacher detained in China is freed

Saul Bowman
December 31, 2018

A Canadian national who was detained in China after authorities in Canada arrested the CFO of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, has been released. Part of a series.

Since her arrest, multiple Canadian citizens have been detained in China, even as both governments refused to link the cases.

A government spokesman did not specify when the Canadian was released or returned to Canada.

Two other Canadian nationals, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and business consultant Michael Spavor, remain under detention in China on suspicion of "engaging in activities that endangered China's national security".

A spokeswoman for China's Foreign Ministry said last week that a Canadian woman had received an administrative penalty for illegal employment but did not provide further details.

Further testing tense relations, another Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, was due to appear before a court in China on drugs charges.

As tension in the Canada-China relationship continues to simmer, Gordon Houlden, director of the the University of Alberta's China Institute, said things could be harder for Schellenberg and his legal team. But his case has been publicized by the Chinese press following the December 1 arrest of the chief financial officer of tech giant Huawei on USA charges related to trading with Iran.

Mr. Kovrig is a Canadian diplomat on leave from the federal government.

In December 2009, China executed convicted drug smuggler Akmal Shaikh of the United Kingdom for smuggling 4,030 grams of heroin.

Drug offences are routinely punished severely in China.

According to the Liaoning High People's Court, officials from the Canadian embassy in China attended Schellenberg's hearing, as well as reporters from foreign media.

According to China's Criminal Law, persons who smuggle, trafficking, transport or manufacture opium of not less than 1,000 grams, heroin or methylaniline of not less than 50 grams or other narcotic drugs of large quantities shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of 15 years, life imprisonment or death and also to confiscation of property. Meng has said she is innocent.

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