Authorities in China have denied entry to the Canadian daughter of a jailed veteran democracy activist, her family said.
Canadian passport-holder Ti-Anna Wang, daughter of jailed dissident Wang Bingzhang, flew to the eastern city of Hangzhou after obtaining a valid visa to travel to China for the first time in a decade.
The family had been en route to the southern province of Guangdong to visit her father, who is serving a life sentence for "espionage and terrorism" in Guangdong's Shaoguan Prison.
However, Wang, her husband, and the couple's 11-month-old daughter were detained for nearly 10 hours, denied entry to the country by border officials, and put on a flight for South Korea, where they have relatives.
"They gave me no explanation whatsoever," Wang told Canadian broadcaster CBC. "All they told us was that they were acting on orders from the minister of state security."
Wang, who obtained the visa with the help of Canadian officials after several previous applications were turned down, said it was "extremely humiliating" to have been turned away at the border.
She said Wang Bingzhang knew they were coming, and had been expecting their visit, her first in 10 years. Its cancellation would be a huge blow to him, she said.
Wang's sister Wang Yuhua, who lives in Vancouver, said the ruling Chinese Communist Party had acted deliberately, because the purpose of the family's trip had been made clear during the visa application process.
"The Chinese regime has never acted reasonably," Wang Yuhua told RFA in a recent interview. "How can it, when there is no rule of law?"
"If the ministry of foreign affairs issues you with a visa, that means you have permission to go to China," she said. "What's more, she made it very clear that she planned to visit her father, and that there was no other reason [for the trip]."
"Instead, she was turned away at immigration, and no reason was given," Wang Yuhua said. "I recall that they did the same thing in 2012."
Wang's denial of entry comes after authorities in China detained 13 Canadians after the ruling Chinese Communist Party vowed to retaliate for the arrest in Vancouver of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, wanted for questioning by investigators in the U.S. over alleged bank fraud linked to the breach of sanctions against Iran.
The United States warned its citizens last week that they could face arbitrary action by authorities when they visit China.
Arrested in Poland
Meanwhile, Poland’s counter-intelligence service said on Friday it has arrested a Chinese sales director of tech giant Huawei on suspicion of spying.
The man was identified as Wang Weijing, or Stanislaw Wang, according to Polish public broadcaster TVP. He stands accused alongside a former Polish intelligence officer of spying for China, following police raids on Huawei's Poland headquarters.
The company said in a statement on Friday that it was "aware of the situation."
"We are looking into it. We have no comment for the time being,” the statement said.
"Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries where it operates, and we require every employee to abide by the laws and regulations in the countries where they are based."
The arrest comes after E.U. technology commissioner Andrus Ansip warned member states of a security risk linked to Huawei, prompting a number of countries to consider excluding the company from bidding for the next generation of 5G mobile networks.
Meng was granted bail by a Vancouver court last month, is confined under curfew to her residence in the city, and must wear an electronic GPS tag at all times.
She is expected to appear at a hearing on Feb. 6, before the extradition hearing is scheduled.
A false equivalence
Current affairs commentator Zhao Jinrong said Chinese official complaints that her human rights had been violated drew a false equivalence between the two countries' jurisdictions.
"Meng is now safe and comfortable, and to some extent, free to live in her own home in the Greater Vancouver area," Zhao said. "How does this compare to the situation of the ... Canadians held in China?"
"Can they contact their families? Their situation is worlds apart from that of Canada," he said.
Canadian diplomats in China met on Tuesday with detained Canadian citizen Michael Spavor, and with detained Canadian citizen Michael Kovrig on Thursday, but didn't disclose details of the meetings for reasons of privacy, officials said.
Both men are accused of "endangering state security."
"The Canadian government remains deeply concerned by the arbitrary detention by Chinese authorities of these two Canadians since last month and continues to call for their immediate release,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
While Huawei has repeatedly insisted that it has no links to the government, industry analysts point to the firm's close involvement in the ruling Chinese Communist Party's flagship technology projects, including internet censorship technology and facial recognition systems deployed in neighborhoods across the country.
Reported by Liu Fei for RFA's Mandarin Service, and by the Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.