United States warns citizens of arbitrary action in China

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A delegation of MPs and senators is heading to China this week, and the detention of two Canadians in the Asian nation is expected to be a major topic of discussion.

The move was widely seen as retaliation after Canada arrested an executive of telecom giant Huawei at the request of the United States, which said she violated Washington's sanctions on Iran.

In response, the Chinese government on Friday said that the United States travel warning did not hold up, citing the large number of Americans that visited the country past year.

The United States warned its citizens Thursday they could face arbitrary action by authorities when they visit China, following the detention of a number of Canadians.

Reports say the travel guidance issued by the United States comes after the detentions of two Canadians in China last month and came amid heightened diplomatic tensions in the wake of the arrest in Canada of a top executive in Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.

Perhaps it is time to stop viewing this part of the world exclusively as the golden goose that will pad (or even save) the western economy, and instead for what it truly is: a region governed by the Communist Party of China, which has little regard for human rights in search of world domination.

"China's economy is facing some headwinds and so is going to want to attract businesspeople, is going to want to show it's open for normal business", he said.

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Putin also sent messages to other heads of state including Britain's Theresa May and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He demurred when asked whether the heightened tensions in Ukraine would also arise.

China ratcheted up its accusations against the two detained Canadians on Thursday, with the country's chief prosecutor declaring that the pair broke Chinese law "without a doubt". Meng's case comes up during a meeting between Freeland and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, with the two agreeing that no politics be injected into the extradition process.

Earlier Thursday, a Chinese government spokesman said it was not "convenient" to discuss the allegations against Kovrig and Spavor despite an assertion by the country's top prosecutor that they broke the law.

Those comments don't offer any new information for Kovrig's distressed family and friends, who still don't know why or for how long he's being detained, said Robert Malley, president of the Crisis Group.

Updating its travel advisory, the State Department maintained its previous guidance that Americans should "exercise increased caution" in China and stopped short of discouraging visits.

"The message from Global Affairs Canada was that it was better that we go than not go", Cooper said.

He reiterated Canada's call for the release of the two men.

December 10: Chinese authorities arrest two Canadian men. Canadian consular officials saw them once each in mid-December.