Sarah McIver, Canadian Detained In China Over Work Permit, Released

Sarah McIver, Canadian Detained In China Over Work Permit, Released

Sarah McIver, Canadian Detained In China Over Work Permit, Released

A Canadian citizen who was detained in China earlier this month has been released and is back in Canada according to Richard Walker, spokesman for Global Affairs Canada.

Global Affairs Canada declined to provide any further information about McIver's return to Canada.

A Canadian government source identified the citizen as teacher Sarah McIver.

Global Affairs said the detention was due to a work permit issue, but did not offer any further details.

Tensions between the two governments have been high since Canada's arrest of a high-ranking Chinese executive at the request of the United States this month, followed by China's detention of two Canadian citizens on suspicion of endangering state security.

While McIver will be able to celebrate New Year's back home in Alberta, Kovrig and Spavor remain in Chinese detention.

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Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of electronics giant Huawei Technologies, is wanted in the United States on allegations she lied to American banks as part of an effort to get around sanctions on Iran. China's foreign ministry said earlier this month that McIver had been undergoing "administrative punishment" for working illegally.

"She's sweet, she's kind, she's happy, she's so smart - and she just loves different cultures", said Jenn Smith, who has known Ms. McIver for about a decade. She has since been released on bail and remains under surveillance as she prepares to fight extradition to the USA, which accuses her of fraud and lying to banks about business activities in Iran.

The Canadian PressMichael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. He was working as an analyst and researcher with the International Crisis Group think tank when he was arrested. He has met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and helped arrange retired basketball star Dennis Rodman's visit to North Korea in 2014.

Chinese officials haven't called the arrests of Kovrig and Spavor acts of retaliation but they have pointedly compared the cases, insisting the men were detained in accordance with Chinese laws while maintaining that Meng's arrest was illegal.

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