A third Canadian has been arrested in China, Global Affairs Canada said Wednesday.
Details are sketchy but a spokesperson said the government “is aware of a Canadian citizen detained in China.”
Maegen Graveline said the government is in contact with the family of the arrested person, but cited the Canadian Privacy Act and released no further details.
The official Canadian government position as of Wednesday was there was no reason to assume the arrest is connected to the detention of two other Canadians.
Michael Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat, and Michael Spavor, whose organization arranged for sports teams exchanges and other exchanges with North Korea, were arrested earlier this month.
The Canadian government is in contact with the pair and also seeking their release from the Chinese government.
While no link between the latest arrest and the first two has yet been established, the arrests are widely seen as retaliation for the detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at a Vancouver airport Dec. 1.
She was taken into custody at the request of the U.S. government and is free on CAN$10 million bail while awaiting an extradition hearing.
The Americans want her extradited to face fraud charges.
The move angered China that said Canada would face “grave consequences” if Meng was not allowed to go free.
Washington said Meng lied to U.S. financial institutions and used a shell company to circumvent sanctions on and do business with Iran.
At a press conference Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Chinese government said she was unaware a third Canadian had been detained.