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

New United States Vice President Kamala Harris (left) and President Joe Biden (right) are sworn in at U.S. inauguration ceremonies Wednesday morning in Washington, D.C.. (Saul Loeb/Pool photos via AP)
Surrey Board of Trade highlights innovation, policy changes as new U.S. president sworn in

COVID-19, border re-opening among issues affecting city, SBOT says

Guildford Seniors Village, located in Surrey. (Image: Google Maps)
Fraser Health declares COVID-19 outbreaks over at 2 Surrey care homes

Outbreaks over at The Emerald at Elim Village, Guildford Seniors Village

A tow truck works to pull a dump truck from a ditch at 176 Street and 40 Avenue, following a two-vehicle incident Tuesday (Jan. 19) afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
PHOTOS: Dump truck, car collide in South Surrey

Intersection – 176 Street and 40 Avenue – was site of 2019 fatal collision

An electric vehicle charging station in front of Hope’s municipal hall, district hall. (Photo: Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)
40 electric vehicle charging stations planned for Surrey

Funding coming from all three levels of government

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

(Black Press Media files)
Woman steals bottles of wine after brandishing stun baton in New Westminster

Police say the female suspect was wearing a beige trench coat with fur lining

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Vancouver Island paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian malls, conference centres, hotels offer up space for COVID vaccination centres

Commercial real estate association REALPAC said that a similar initiative was seeing success in the U.K.

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden are sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

A memorial for the fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

Sidhu was sentenced almost two years ago to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving

Cumberland photographer Sara Kemper recently took the top spot in a Canadian Geographic photography contest. Photo by Sara Kemper
B.C. photographer takes top Canadian Geographic photo prize

Sara Kemper shows what home means to her in Comox Valley photo

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Most Read