UPDATED 10:00 AM PT – Saturday, February 26, 2021
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. stands in solidarity with Canada after two Canadian nationals were detained in China. On Friday, Blinken said the United States demands the immediate release of prisoners Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig.
He said the pair’s arbitrary detention, which followed Canada’s arrest of a top Huawei official last year, was for political purposes. He added the issue brought together dozens of countries who echoed similar calls in condemnation of China.
“Canada has taken, I think, a very important initiative that was inspired by the two Michaels, but goes even beyond that,” Blinken noted. “And that is to bring countries together to stand against the arbitrary detention of individuals for political purposes, a practice that we see in a number of countries including China.”
Blinken did not go into specifics regarding how the U.S. is supporting Canada and referred all future questions to the Justice Department.