In this image made from a video taken on March 28, 2018, North East Asia senior adviser Michael Kovrig speaks during an interview in Hong Kong.
In this image made from a video taken on March 28, 2018, North East Asia senior adviser Michael Kovrig speaks during an interview in Hong Kong.

A former Canadian diplomat has been detained in China amid rising tensions between the two countries over Canada's arrest, at the request of the United States, of a Chinese technology executive.

Meng Wanzhou, Executive Board Director of the Chinese technology giant Huawei, attends a session of the VTB Capital Investment Forum "Russia Calling!" in Moscow, Oct. 2, 2014.
China Demands Release of Telecom Executive Arrested in Canada
China is demanding Canada immediately free a top executive of a giant telecom firm arrested last Saturday on a U.S. warrant.The charges against Meng Wanzhou are unclear. But Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper says she is suspected of trying to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran — something U.S. officials have been suspecting about her company, Huawei, for the last two years.Police arrested Meng at the Vancouver airport. She faces possible extradition to the United States after a bail hearing on Friday.A…

A former Canadian envoy to Beijing, Hong Kong and elsewhere from 2003 to 2016, Michael Kovrig was apprehended earlier this week for undisclosed reasons.

Kovrig, a Mandarin speaker, is the Northeast Asia senior adviser for the International Crisis Group, which researches peaceful solutions to global conflicts.

Kovrig's apprehension comes as a Canadian court is deciding whether to release Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of China's Huawei Technologies company, on bail pending a U.S. request to extradite her to stand trial on charges that she violated U.S. sanctions against trade with Iran.

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.'s chief financial officer, is seen in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters, Dec. 6 , 2018.
Huawei Executive Due in Canadian Court For Bail Hearing
The chief financial officer for Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies is due back in a Canadian courtroom Monday for a hearing on whether she should be granted bail while awaiting possible extradition to the United States to face fraud charges.Canadian prosecutors have so far argued Meng Wanzhou should remain in custody until her extradition hearing. Her lawyers say she should be freed on bail due to health issues.China summoned the U.S. ambassador in Beijing on Sunday to lodge a "strong protest"…

An International Crisis Group statement said, "We are doing everything possible to secure additional information on Michael's whereabouts as well as his prompt and safe release."

Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said he was "deeply concerned" about Kovrig's detention, but that there was "no explicit indication at this moment" that the arrests were related to each other.

Former Canadian Liberal leader Bob Rae linked Kovrig's detention to the arrest of Meng at the Vancouver airport on December 1.

"It's called repression and retaliation," he said on Twitter.