Chinese state media has reported that Beijing suspects former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig of stealing state secrets. Photo: International Crisis Group

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed strong concern Monday after Chinese state media reported that a former diplomat detained in the country was suspected of spying and stealing state secrets.

“We are very concerned with the position that China has taken,” Trudeau told reporters, referring to the case of Michael Kovrig, who was detained in December following the arrest in Canada of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Trudeau reiterated that Canada believes China “arbitrarily detained” both the former diplomat and his compatriot Michael Spavor – a businessman suspected by China of being a key source of intelligence for Kovrig.

– with reporting by Agence France-Presse

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