China releases Canadian captives Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor after Meng Wanzhou deal with U.S. prosecutors

They're flying home after being in custody since December 2018

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      China's hostage diplomacy with two Canadians has come to an end.

      Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced this evening (September 24) that former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor have been allowed to leave China.

      They had been held captive in China since December 2018 following the Canadian arrest of a senior Huawei executive on a provisional U.S. warrant.

      Today, Meng Wanzhou was allowed to leave Canada after she reached a deferred prosecution agreement with U.S. prosecutors.

      After she boarded a plane for China, Kovrig and Spavor were allowed to leave China.

      Last month, a Chinese judge sentenced Spavor to 11 years in jail after he was convicted of espionage.

      Kovrig and Spavor aren't the only two Canadians who've been caught up in the Chinese legal system.

      According to a Senate briefing note, which was obtained by Blacklock's Reporter earlier this year, there were 119 Canadians being detained in China.

      One of them, an Abbotsford man named Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, has been sentenced to death on drug-smuggling charges.

      In 2016, Lulu Island Winery owners John Chang and his wife, Allison Lu, were arrested after China alleged that they had under-reported the value of wine sold to Chinese nationals, thereby avoiding taxes.


      The two Michaels have arrived at Calgary International Airport.