“These charges are politically motivated and completely unfounded,” said Pompeo. “The United States supports Canada by calling on Beijing for the immediate release of the two men and rejects the use of these unjustified detentions to compel Canada.”
US prosecutors want Meng to be tried on multiple charges, including bank fraud and violation of US sanctions against Iran.
Late last month, a Canadian judge ruled that the extradition case against him could proceed, in what China’s representatives in the country called a “serious political incident.”
Within weeks, new charges were announced against Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat and NGO worker, and Spavor, who founded a North Korean tourism company.
China’s legal system is subject to the ruling Communist Party and is known for its extremely high conviction rate.
On Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the evidence against the two Canadians was “solid” and that the “facts are clear.”
Zhao denied reports that the two men had been denied access to consular assistance, saying that visits were suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“In both cases they receive consular visits once a month, exactly 30 minutes, with someone there watching the entire discussion,” he said. “These mainly serve to give them news of their family and give them books and other reading material. It is very difficult for them, they are waiting and they have no idea when and how they could be released.”
In his statement, Pompeo said Washington echoed Canada’s “call for immediate consular access to its two citizens, in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, as China has prohibited such access for nearly six months, and the world is unaware of the two Condition of Canadians. “
“Europe faces a challenge from China, just as the United States does, and in the same way as our South American, African, Middle Eastern and Asian friends,” Pompeo said.