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China hits back at Freeland's criticism of detention of Canadians

BEIJIN, China — China is rebuffing the latest broadside from Canada over its detention of Canadian citizens, rejecting the assertion that China’s behaviour poses a threat to all nations.

Instead, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said today that people from China could be at risk following Canada’s detention of a Chinese telecom executive for “no reason.”

The remark was triggered by Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland’s comment Wednesday that “the arbitrary detentions of Canadians … represent a way of behaving which is a threat to all countries.”

Hua said Freeland may have spoken without thinking, and that such remarks won’t help settle the issue.

China detained two Canadians in what Western analysts see as an attempt to pressure Canada to release Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Vancouver at the request of the U.S.

The back-and-forth accusations intensified after China sentenced Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg to death earlier this week for alleged drug smuggling.

– With files from AP

The Canadian Press