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And U.S. citizens may be subjected to prolonged interrogations and extended detention for reasons related to "state security".

"I and the other members of the delegation will engage with Chinese officials in as constructive way as possible, with the obvious objective of seeing these two Canadians returned safely and as soon as possible", Cooper said.

Their detentions followed the arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who was held in Vancouver at the request of U.S. prosecutors on December 1.

This after a Huawei CFO, who awaits extradition to the US for misleading banks about transactions linked to Iran violating sanctions against that country, is out on bail and living in her Vancouver mansion. Diplomatic tension between Canada and China has intensified since Meng's arrest on December 1.

"The message from Global Affairs Canada. was that it would be better for us to go rather than to cancel", said Cooper.

Beijing, however, said the detention of these two men was not linked to Meng's arrest, but analysts called it a "tit-for-tat" action.

The advisory also noted that China does not recognise dual nationality, and "U.S".

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"This outnumbers the proportion of Chinese people visiting the United States", Lu said.

In response, the Chinese government on Friday said that the USA travel warning did not hold up, citing the large number of Americans that visited the country previous year.

The rights of foreign nationals in China have received renewed focus because of public concern over the fate of three U.S. citizens accused of committing "economic crimes" in the country.

China's foreign ministry says Kovrig and Spavor have been detained on suspicion of "endangering national security".

What is odd is that the Canadian government has issued no such travel warning for Canadians despite the tourism minister cancelling her visit there last month, and it is our citizens who are being detained. Canadian consular officials saw them once each in mid-December.

"Without a doubt, these two Canadian citizens in China violated our country's laws and regulations, and are now undergoing investigation according to procedure", Zhang Jun, China's prosecutor general, said. The next day, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying says the Canadian woman, Sarah McIver, received an administrative penalty for illegal employment.

Canada has called the detentions "deeply concerning" and "arbitrary", and demanded the immediate release of the two men.


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