Michael Kovrig is shown in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - International Crisis Group

Michael Kovrig is shown in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - International Crisis Group

Former Canadian diplomat detained in China amid rising tensions: reports

A former Canadian diplomat has been arrested in China, according to media reports and the international think tank he works for.

A former Canadian diplomat — who worked as a political lead for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 2016 visit to Hong Kong — has reportedly been arrested in China.

The International Crisis Group says it is aware of media reports that Michael Kovrig, its North East Asia senior adviser, has been detained.

A member of the organization wrote in a short email that it has no additional information at this time.

“We are doing everything possible to secure additional information on Michael’s whereabouts as well as his prompt and safe release,” the organization said in a statement.

Canada’s foreign affairs department has yet to respond to a request for comment.

China’s embassy in Ottawa also has yet to provide a response to a request for information.

Read more: Break-in at home of detained Chinese Huawei executive

Read more: B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

News of Kovrig’s detention comes after China warned Canada of consequences for its recent arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver’s airport — but it is unclear if there is any link between the two cases.

Kovrig wrote on his LinkedIn profile that he served as the political lead on the “successful visit” of Trudeau’s visit to Hong Kong in September 2016.

In his profile, Kovrig describes himself as an international policy analyst and strategist “at the intersection of communication, politics, economics and global security.” He says he has 20 years of international experience — and about 10 years working for Canada’s Foreign Affairs Department, domestically and in postings abroad.

A profile on the International Crisis Group’s website says Kovrig previously worked as a Canadian diplomat in Beijing, Hong Kong and at the United Nations in New York. The group says Kovrig, who speaks Mandarin, researches and provides analysis on foreign affairs and global security issues in North East Asia, particularly China, Japan and the Korean peninsula.

Kovrig, the group said, had been one of its full-time experts since February 2017.

The International Crisis Group describes itself as an “independent organization working to prevent wars and shape policies that will build a more peaceful world.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

File photo
City of Wetaskiwin awarded $5.1 million grant for additional RCMP officers

10 Additional RCMP officers to serve the City of Wetaskiwin as a result of the grant.

Image curtesy of MetroCreativeConnection
Grass fire season ablaze this spring in the County of Wetaskiwin

Fire Departments across Wetaskiwin County have been feeling the effects of a dry spring.

Facebook/ Millet Fire Department
Millet Fire Department monitoring bale fire after morning of fighting flames

Smoke and flames clearly visible from the QEII and Hwy 616 as the MFD battled the blaze this morning

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

A health-care worker holds up a vial of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Montreal, Thursday, March 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PHAC receives first report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

The federal agency says the person is now recovering at home

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward
1 in 3 young Canadians have given up on owning a home: poll

Data released Monday says 36% of adults younger than 40 have given up on home ownership entirely

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Most Canadians plan to get COVID-19 vaccine, but safety fears drive hesitancy: poll

This comes as confidence in governments is plummeting in provinces being hit hardest by the pandemic

Marathon of Hope runner Terry Fox is shown in a 1981. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/CP)
Terry Fox’s legacy of resilience resonates during COVID-19 crisis, says brother

Fred Fox said his brother’s legacy of resilience has taken on renewed resonance as COVID-19 rages on

Madelyn Boyko poses along with a number of the bath bombs she makes with her mom, Jessica Boyko. Madelyn says she enjoys making the bath bombs with her mom as it is a special time for just the two of them. (Photo Submitted)
5-year-old Sylvan Lake girl selling bath bombs in support of younger brother

Madelyn Boyko is selling bath bombs for CdLS research in honour of her younger brother

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Most Read