China can no longer credibly use the “excuse” of COVID-19 to continue keeping Canadian diplomats from visiting Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, the Conservative foreign affairs critic says.
Conservative MP Michael Chong also says this past week’s virtual consular visits to Kovrig and Spavor should have happened much sooner.
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“COVID-19 is an excuse that doesn’t hold water,” Chong said in an interview Sunday.
“The economy in China has largely reopened,” he added. “A direct in-person visit should have already taken place a long time ago with appropriate social distancing.”
Kovrig and Spavor have been in prison in China since December 2018 in what is widely seen as retaliation for Canada arresting Chinese high-tech executive Meng Wanzhou on an American extradition warrant.
Dominic Barton, Canada’s ambassador to China, had internet-based visits with Spavor on Friday and Kovrig on Saturday.