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White House calls detentions of Canadians in China unlawful


The is calling the detentions of two Canadians in unlawful and Canadian and have agreed to continue to seek their release, officials said Monday.

grabbed the Canadians in apparent retaliation for the arrest of a top Chinese last month. Trudeau spoke to Trump in a phone call Monday.

"Trump spoke with Canadian today, during which the two discussed the unlawful detention of two Canadian citizens in as well as bilateral trade issues," said in a statement.

The hasn't spoken publicly about the detained Canadians until now. U.S. and a State Department previously called for their release.

"The thanked the for the strong statements of support by the in response to the arbitrary detention of two Canadians in China.The two leaders agreed to continue to seek their release," Trudeau's office said in a summary of the call.

The Chinese detained Canadian ex-and last month on vague allegations of "engaging in activities that endanger the national security" of China.

The arrests came after Meng Wanzhou, the of Chinese Huawei, was arrested in on Dec. 1 at the request of the United States, which wants her extradited to face charges that she and her company misled banks about the company's business dealings in

Trudeau and Trump spoke about the U.S. extradition request and "they reaffirmed the importance of respecting judicial independence and the rule of law," Trudeau's office said.

Trump previously said he might intervene in the case if it would help clinch a trade agreement with China, upending U.S. efforts to separate the court proceeding from U.S.-China trade talks and contradicting Canadian officials who said the arrest was not political.

Canadian said last month that would embark on a campaign with allies to win the release of the detained Canadians.

The US, the UK and the EU issued statements in support.

A show of support from allies is significant for Canada, which has felt relatively isolated in recent months. In August, expelled Canada's to the kingdom and withdrew its own after Canada's foreign ministry tweeted support for an arrested Saudi activist.

The Saudis also sold Canadian investments and ordered their citizens studying in to leave. No country, including the U.S., spoke out publicly in support of Canada.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 08 2019. 06:40 IST