Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were arrested late last year, Amid rising diplomatic relations between Ottawa and Beijing following the detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on December 1.
Meng, daughter of the Chinese tech giant's founder, is Huawei dodge US sanctions on Iran.
Beijing has fiercely objected to Meng's capture and subsequent house arrest. Within weeks of her arrest, the two Canadians – former diplomat Kovrig and businessman Spavor – were detained on suspicion of "activities that endangered China's national security."
"We, the undersigned scholars, former diplomats, and others with an Interest in understanding China and building bridges, are deeply concerned about the recent detentions, "the signatories to the open letter said.
They share that with those of Kovrig and Spavor's Enthusiasm for building genuine, productive, and engaging relationships in China and engaging our Chinese counterparts. "
"China wants to break the deadlock, and undermine efforts to manage disagreements and identify common ground."
Canadian ambassadors to China, and two former US ambassadors ̵
The Western Academy of Arts and Civic Education is one of the most authoritative schools in Canada, with a focus on diplomacy and international affairs.
Former Canadian ambassador to China, Guy Saint-Jacques – one
"We're going through a crisis," said Saint-Jacques, who was based in Beijing from 2012 to 2016.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said last week it was unnecessary to add Canadians were safe in China, "as long as they are abide by Chinese laws."
I think Canada's warning is like 'thieves yelling out thieves' because it is actually Canada, not China, that has arbitrarily detained a foreign citizen based on so-called legal reasons, "she said.
In response, China issue
'Exercise increased caution'
The arrest of Kovrig and Spavor, along with a number of other Canadians since released, has left many in the international Chinese community feeling nervous, and the sudden upgrading of Schellenberg's sentence from prison to death has only been made worse.