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China charges two Canadians with spying in Huawei-linked case

BY , Jun 19, 2020 3:28 PM - REPORT AN ERRORLAST UPDATED ON Jun 19, 2020 4:27 PM

Employees step out from a shutter bus near a Huawei 5G sign on display inside its headquarters in Shenzhen in south China's Guangdong province, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. A top Trump administration adviser on telecommunications met today with Trudeau government officials in Ottawa as Canada has yet to decide whether to allow Chinese firm Huawei to participate in its new 5G internet network. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Andy Wong

China has charged two detained Canadians with spying today, further escalating tensions between the two countries.

Chinese prosecutors say Michael Kovrig was charged on suspicion of spying for state secrets.

They say Michael Spavor was charged on suspicion of spying for a foreign entity and illegally providing state secrets.

The charges were announced by China's highest prosecutor's office in brief social media posts.

Both men have been held since December 2018 in a move seen as an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

They have been in Chinese prisons since they were arrested nine days after Meng's arrest.

The conditions under which the two Canadians are being held has been the subject of scrutiny.

Kovrig and Spavor had no access to lawyers or their families as of May, with the exception of a phone call the Chinese embassy said Kovrig was allowed to make to his sick father in mid-March.

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