A day after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence joined Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in calling for the release of two detained Canadians in China, Beijing warned Ottawa on Friday of “consequences” spurred from aiding the United States.
Seen as tit-for-tat retaliatory action, China detained ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor in December, just after Canada arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. warrant.
In a procedure that could take years, Wanzhou faces extradition to the United States on charges she conspired to defraud global banks about Huawei’s relationship with a company operating in Iran.
Though the Canadian justice system is separate from its government, China claims the arrest was political. Huawei and Wanzhou maintain she is innocent of the charges while Beijing calls for her release.
“We hope that the Canadian side can have a clear understanding of the consequences of endangering itself for the gains of the U.S. and take immediate actions to correct its mistakes so as to spare itself the suffering from growing damage,” Geng said at a daily press briefing, reported The Associated Press.
When asked about Pence’s comments that U.S. President Donald Trump would speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the detained Canadians at a G20 meeting in Japan in June, Geng implied that Canada was to blame for its problems in China.
Pence came alongside Trudeau, supporting Canada against “arbitrary” Chinese arrests in a meeting on Thursday during his first state visit to Canada.