“These accusations are politically motivated and completely unfounded,” Pompeo said. “The United States stands with Canada in calling on Beijing to release the two of them immediately and reject the use of those unjustified detentions to coerce Canada.”
U.S. prosecutors want Meng to be tried on multiple charges, including bank fraud and violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Late last month, a Canadian judge ruled that extradition proceedings against her could continue, in what Chinese officials called the country a “serious political incident.”
In a few weeks, new charges were announced against Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat and NGO worker, and Spavor, who founded a North Korean travel company.
The Chinese legal system is considered by the ruling Communist Party and is known for its extremely high belief rate.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Friday that the evidence against the two Canadians was “solid” and that “the facts are clear”.
Zhao denied reports that the two men were denied access to consular assistance, saying visits had been suspended due to a coronavirus pandemic.
“In both cases, they receive consular visits once a month, for exactly 30 minutes, with someone there following the entire discussion,” he said. “It mostly serves to inform about their family and give books and other reading material. It’s very difficult for them, they wait and have no idea when and how they might be released.”
Pompeo said in a statement that Washington reiterated “Canada’s call for direct consular access of its two citizens, in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, because China has banned such access for almost six months and the world has no knowledge of them.” Canadians’.
“Europe is facing the Chinese challenge, as is the United States, and so are our friends from South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia,” Pompeo said.