travel advisory

Canadians warned to be cautious about travelling to Hong Kong amid unrest

Canadians in Hong Kong should contact the Canadian consulate there if they need help

The federal government is warning Canadians about travelling to Hong Kong amid massive protests and the Chinese military amassing on the border.

The travel advisory went up around 9:30 ET this morning telling Canadians to “exercise a high degree of caution in Hong Kong due to ongoing large-scale demonstrations.”

“Our government is very aware that there are 300,000 Canadians in Hong Kong,” Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told a news conference Wednesday in Toronto, where she met with German’s foreign minister Heiko Maas.

“This is a turbulent moment in the world…. I would urge all Canadians, if you live in Hong Kong, if you are travelling there, if you have relatives who are there or are travelling there, to look at our travel advice.”

Canadians in Hong Kong should contact the Canadian consulate there if they need help, she added.

READ MORE: Flights out of Hong Kong cancelled again amid protests

Demonstrators and police have clashed violently in recent days after protesters took over the airport, shutting down all flights in or out for two days.

The demonstrations began last spring after the Hong Kong government introduced a bill that would allow Hong Kong citizens to be sent to China if they are arrested. The protests escalated in June and have continued.

On Monday, the second day protesters shut down the airport, clashes with riot police became violent. Chinese troops, meanwhile, have been seen amassing in large numbers in Shenzhen, a Chinese city about 30 kilometres from Hong Kong.

More than 600 people have been arrested in Hong Kong as demonstrators voice their calls for democratic reforms.

The Chinese government referred to the protesters as terrorists. Freeland said governments should be careful about such labels.

“I think that it is very important everywhere in the world for governments to listen to the concerns of their people,” she said, adding that while it may be tempting for governments to label protesters as something else when they do not agree with the message, ”it is a mistake to do that.”

Canada’s relationship with China is fraught with tension over Canada’s arrest of Chinese telecom executive Meng Wanzhou, and China’s subsequent detention of two Canadians allegedly for national security reasons.

Businessman Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig were detained in China in December shortly after Meng was arrested at the Vancouver airport to face possible extradition to the United States, where she faces fraud charges.

Freeland acknowledged “the dignity and the courage” of the two detained men and their families, and mentioned her one-on-one meeting with China’s foreign minister Wang Yi last month in Thailand, where they discussed the Spavor and Kovrig matter as well as the extradition process for Meng.

“It was a positive step that we were able to have a direct conversation about that.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Activist, author Libby Davies coming to Nelson

Davies will talk about the intersection of activism and politics in pursuit of social change

NDP bring Green New Deal to the Kootenays

MPs Wayne Stetski and Peter Julian held climate change talks in Nelson, Cranbrook and Revelstoke

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Most Read