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

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
NTC president calls for ‘massive change’ after Indigenous woman shot by police in Hitacu

“We need to get to the root of what is actually happening with the RCMP and our communities”

Hotel Zed Tofino has won a Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Award. (Westerly file photo)
Hotel Zed Tofino wins commercial building award

Vancouver Island Real Estate Board holds virtual gala.

The District of Ucluelet is fast-tracking temporary use permits for RVs/campervans as seasonal housing. (Westerly file photo)
Ucluelet reviews 11 applications for RVs as seasonal housing

“Housing is so essential to everyone, and an issue that cases a lot of stress to business owners.”

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

Oak Bay resident Hugh Thompson died Friday, May 7. (GoFundMe photo)
Oak Bay dad dies mountain biking near Shawnigan Lake

Community rallies around family with online fundraiser

Most Read