State Department issues China travel warning

"I think that we are in a completely different place than we were just a year ago when it comes to our aspirations for China", MacKay said. "One of the fundamentals is if they're being detained they have a right to representation".

"I think we have to take a bit of an appetizer suppressant on that front", he said.

Chinese authorities indicated this week they will move ahead with prosecuting Kovrig and Spavor for "activities that undermine China's national security".

On Thursday, a Chinese government spokesman said it was not "convenient" to discuss the allegations against the two Canadians despite an assertion by the country's top prosecutor that they broke the law.

Backed by the US and several European countries, Canada's foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, has repeatedly called for the immediate release of Kovrig and Spavor, whose arrests Ottawa has termed arbitrary.

"Abuses included instances of extrajudicial killings, torture and mistreatment of prisoners, forced confessions, arbitrary arrest and detention, lengthy incommunicado detention, and denial of due process", it said in a profile of the People's Republic.

Canadian authorities detained Meng at the request of the U.S, which accuses Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment to Iran in violation of US sanctions.

The State Department urges travelers to China to keep a USA passport with a valid Chinese visa close at hand. You can check them out here.

The six Parliamentarians on the trip will stay in touch with Global Affairs Canada and embassy officials.

According to the association's page on the Parliament of Canada website, the delegation will be visiting Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Most are detained over minor matters, the spokesperson added.

In a briefing with reporters, he says he is certain diplomat on leave Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor have violated the country's laws.

International Crisis Group Chief Executive Officer Robert Malley told Bloomberg News last month that Kovrig wasn't a spy. He said such figures could answer the question of whether China was safe for foreigners.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had previously called for calm over the held men, ensuring that there would be no "stomping on a table" over the matter. Trudeau has said that bypassing diplomatic channels could backfire.

"This doesn't shed much light", said Malley.

McIver, a school teacher, was also detained over a visa matter but then subsequently released by the Chinese authority.

  • Jon Douglas