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China formally arrests Canadian ex-diplomat, businessman

Beijing  : China has formally arrested two Canadians who have been detained for months on national security grounds in a case that has inflamed tensions between Ottawa and Beijing.

A Canadian government source said that neither Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat, nor Michael Spavor, a China-based businessman who organised trips to North Korea, have been formally charged.

China later announced it suspected Kovrig of spying and stealing state secrets and alleged that Spavor had provided him with intelligence. Two other Canadians convicted of drug trafficking, meanwhile, have been sentenced to death. And Beijing recently blocked Canadian shipments of canola and pork worth billions of dollars.

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