China says detained Canadians have been formally arrested

People hold placards calling for China to release Canadian detainees Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig outside a court hearing for Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou at the B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

BEIJING (Reuters) РChina’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that two detained Canadian citizens, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, have been formally arrested.

Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Kovrig was arrested on charges of gathering state secrets and Spavor on charges of stealing secrets for overseas forces.

China hopes that Canada will not interfere, Lu told a daily news briefing.

Reporting by Michael Martina; Writing by Ben Blanchard; editing by Darren Schuettler

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