Canada, China trade travel warnings amid tensions over execs' arrests

Jan. 15 (UPI) — The Canadian and Chinese governments have traded travel warnings, amid tensions that escalated last month after the high-profile arrest of a Chinese business executive.

Global Affairs Canada warned citizens Monday against traveling to China, a few weeks after two Canadians were arrested. Those arrests occurred after Canada took Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou into custody, at the request of the United States.

“Exercise a high degree of caution in China due to the risk of arbitrary enforcement of local laws,” The Canadian advisory said. “The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.”

China answered with a travel warning to its citizens Tuesday, which said citizens should “fully evaluate risks and exercise caution” in Canada because of the “arbitrary detention” of a Chinese national.

The statement from Beijing referred to Meng, who is wanted in the United States for supposedly trying to bypass U.S. trade sanctions against Iran.

Shortly after Meng’s arrest, Chinese officials confirmed two Canadian men had been detained on national security concerns.

Ottawa’s advisory came the same day Canadian citizen Robert Lloyd Schellenberg was sentenced to death in China for drug smuggling. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau slammed the ruling at a news conference.

China fired back at Trudeau’s comments Tuesday.

“We urge Canada to respect the rule of law, respect China’s judicial sovereignty, correct its mistakes, and stop publishing irresponsible remarks,” foreign ministry official Hua Chunying said in a report by The Telegraph.

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