During his daily coronavirus press briefing on Friday, Trudeau said he was “disappointed” with charges laid by China against Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.
The two Canadians are being charged by the Chinese regime with various espionage crimes after being unlawfully arrested in retaliation for the detainment of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou by Canadian authorities.
“In the case of the two Michaels, I can say that we are using a wide range of public and private measures to ensure that everything is being done to get these Michaels home,” said Trudeau.
Spavor is being charged with spying for a foreign entity and illegally providing state secrets, while Kovrig is charged with spying for state secrets and intelligence.
The two have spent well over a year in Chinese prisons since being arrested in December 2018.
Trudeau’s comments came shortly after China’s ambassador to Canada Cong Peiwu wrote an op-ed in the Toronto Star claiming that China would never “interfere” in Canada or undermine its relations with the country.
“The Chinese side never takes the initiative to stir up trouble and will never do anything to interfere in Canada’s internal affairs or undermine China-Canada relations,” wrote Cong.
Recent reports have outlined significant attempts by international organizations linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to interfere in Canada’s affairs.
According to a Global News investigation, United Front groups associated with the Chinese state were directing diaspora and auxiliary organizations to buy up personal protective equipment in Canada and abroad, while the CCP was playing down the severity of the coronavirus.
Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer accused the Trudeau government of not taking enough actions in securing the release of the two imprisoned Canadians.
“It’s been 18 months since Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were arbitrarily and unlawfully detained by the Chinese government. During this time, Justin Trudeau has done nothing to stand up against the People’s Republic of China’s actions,” said Scheer.
“This case should be being dealt with at the highest levels. But Justin Trudeau has repeatedly refused to intervene.”