China says former Canadian diplomat lacks diplomatic immunity
Updated 20:41, 17-Jan-2019
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying reiterated that the former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig, who was detained and suspected of endangering China's national security, has no diplomatic immunity.
She made the remarks in a regular press briefing on Monday, refuting a recent claim made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about China not respecting Kovrig's rights of enjoying diplomatic immunity.
Trudeau also accused China of "arbitrarily" and "unfairly" detaining the two Canadian citizens including Kovrig.
Hua called the accusation "groundless" and suggested relevant people from the Canadian side study and seriously research the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the International Law before expressing views, so that they won't "be plausible and expose themselves to ridicule".
Hua said that Kovrig currently is not a diplomat, and he came to China with an ordinary passport and business visa. The Chinese side took coercive measures against him because he was suspected of engaging in activities that endanger China's national security. Therefore, according to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and International Law, Kovrig does not have diplomatic immunity.
Hua also called on the Canadian side to first take practical actions to prove itself to be judicially independent.
(Cover: Hua Chunying, spokeswoman of China's Foreign Ministry, speaks at a regular news conference, in Beijing, China. /VCG Photo)