OTTAWA — China’s foreign ministry says the recent detention of a Canadian citizen by Chinese authorities is linked to drug allegations against foreign teachers.
The detention of a Canadian in China comes with the two countries entangled in a diplomatic dispute triggered by the December arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver.
In the days after Meng’s arrest, China detained two Canadians on espionage allegations that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called arbitrary.
Asked today about the recent detention, a Chinese foreign-ministry spokesman confirmed that a Canadian was among a group of foreigners under investigation in the province of Shandong for drug-related allegations, according to a transcript of the news conference posted by the ministry.
Geng Shuang says Chinese authorities have notified the embassies of the relevant countries and will set up consular visits.
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Department confirmed late last week that a Canadian citizen had been detained in the eastern Chinese city of Yantai — but it would not provide additional details because of privacy laws.
The department says Canadian officials have provided consular services to the person in custody.
The Chinese ministry spokesman says there’s no connection between the investigation in Shandong and another drug case involving foreigners in the province of Jiangsu.