After three years spent in detainment in China, two Canadian nationals returned home on Sept. 25.

A day before, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau informed that the Canadian nationals were on their way back to his country after the U.S. had reached a deal with the Chinese government, Reuters reported.

According to The Hill, the men left China around 7:30 p.m. Ottawa time with Dominic Carton, Canada’s ambassador to China. They arrived in the western city of Calgary just before 06:00 local time (12:00 GMT) and were greeted by Trudeau.

The two men, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were arrested in December 2018 briefly after Canada detained Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou after a U.S. warrant was issued.

Spavor was accused of spying by the Chinese Communist government in August. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison in addition to “confiscation of personal property of RMB 50,000 ($7,700), and deportation.” Kovrig’s trial had concluded in March, but he had not yet been sentenced.

Both men claimed they were innocent.

“These two men have been through an unbelievably difficult situation, but it is inspiring and it is good news for all of us that they are on their way home to their families,” Trudeau said Friday.

In what would appear an obvious swap, just hours after China freed the two men, and they were airborne, Meng Wanzhou, the Huawei executive detained for almost three years in Canada, was released and on her way to Shenzhen on Saturday evening.

Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver in 2018 after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) found her guilty of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud to bypass sanctions against Iran. 

Beijing arrested Kovrig and Spavor soon after, a move which Trudeau’s Liberal government alleged was hostage diplomacy. 

“Human beings are not bargaining chips,” Trudeau said earlier this year in a meeting with President Joe Biden about the release of the men, according to the Daily Caller

Beijing insisted there was no connection between the arrest of the two Canadians and Huawei’s Wanzhou.

The release of the two Canadians this week came after the DOJ reached a deal with China over Ms. Wanzhou’s detention, in which she was permitted to fly back to China as long as she did not commit any further federal, state, or local crimes.

The two Canadians detained by China for over 1,000 days had set their foot in their homeland on Saturday, Sept. 25.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a day prior informed that the Canadian nationals were being flown back to his country after the U.S. had reached a deal with the Chinese government, Reuters reported.

The men left China around 7:30 p.m. Ottawa time with Dominic Carton, Canada’s ambassador to China, according to The Hill

They arrived in the western city of Calgary just before 06:00 local time (12:00 GMT) and were greeted by Trudeau, according to the BBC.

The two men, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were arrested in December 2018 briefly after Canada detained Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on behalf of a U.S. warrant.

Spavor was accused of spying by the Chinese Communist government in August. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison in addition to “confiscation of personal property of RMB (Chinese Yuan) 50,000, and deportation.” 

The men insisted on their innocence.

“These two men have been through an unbelievably difficult situation, but it is inspiring and it is good news for all of us that they are on their way home to their families,” Trudeau said Friday, as reported by Reuters.

Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver in 2018 after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) found her guilty of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud in order to bypass sanctions against Iran. 

Beijing arrested Kovrig and Spavor soon after, a move which Trudeau’s Liberal government alleged was hostage diplomacy. 

“Human beings are not bargaining chips,” Trudeau said earlier this year in a meeting with President Joe Biden about the release of the men, according to the Daily Caller

Beijing insisted no underlying intention between the arrest of the two Canadians and Huawei’s  Wanzhou.

The release of the two Canadians this week came after the DOJ reached a deal with China over Ms. Wanzhou’s detention, in which she has been allowed to fly back to her country as long as she does not commit any further federal, state, or local crimes.

Wanzhou departed Canada also on Friday and landed in Shenzhen, China on Saturday. Several hours after the Canadian men reached their destination, per the BBC.

Critics derided the Biden administration for the agreement, which indicated that the U.S. was caving into China, one of its biggest businesses at the center of a global technology rivalry, Reuters noted.

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