Beijing and Ottawa are maintaining regular diplomatic communication regarding the recent detention of two Canadian nationals in China, and Beijing has arranged for Canadian officials to have access to them, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday.
China is providing all necessary assistance to allow Canada to fulfill normal consular services, and the legitimate rights and interests of the two Canadian citizens are being guaranteed, Hua said at a daily news briefing.
The Canadians, businessman Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig, are suspected of engaging in activities that endanger China's national security. Their cases are now under investigation and they are being detained according to the law, she said.
John McCallum, Canadian ambassador to China, met with Kovrig on Friday and Spavor on Sunday, Reuters quoted Canada's Foreign Ministry as saying.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday at a meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland in Washington that the detention of the two Canadians is unlawful and unacceptable, and they should be released.
Freeland said the recent detention of a senior Chinese executive is in accordance with the rule of law and honors Canada's international treaty commitments.
Canada detained Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on Dec 1 in Vancouver at the request of the US.
"After so many things have happened, it is surprising that the US and Canada still proclaim to abide by the rule of law," Hua said, adding that it is a modern version of The Emperor's New Clothes.
She said that such remarks disregard the facts and ignore the rule of law, and will be laughed at.
Many Canadians wrote to the Chinese embassy in Canada or Canadian media outlets to criticize the unreasonable and illegal measures taken by the Canadian government, she said, adding that many Americans, including Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs, have commented on the case.
China strongly urges Canada to correct its mistake and release Meng, and it is asking the US to cancel the call for her arrest, she added.