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

Qualicum Beach council discusses helping out Orca Place residents

Town considers offer of temporary jobs in the future

FEDERAL ELECTION: Courtenay-Alberni candidates visit Parksville’s Ballenas Secondary School

Students ask questions before participating in their own vote

RDN offers free transit to polling stations on Oct. 21

Initiative aimed at boosting voter turnout, reducing vehicles on road

Parksville residents hear compelling tales from recovering young addicts

Speakers emphasize need for detox and treatment centre, shelter in the area

VIDEO: U.S. officials refute British couple’s ‘accidental’ border-crossing claim

Authorities say couple was arrested after illegal entry from B.C., with $16,000 and marijuana

B.C. calls for new caribou habitat restoration projects

Work to restore areas disrupted by logging, roadbuildin

Two RCMP vehicles vandalized in Duncan over long weekend

Local Mounties asking for help in finding culprits

Fire response at Trans Mountain Burnaby tank farm could take six hours: audit

Site doesn’t have mutual aid response agreement with Burnaby fire department

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Suspect hits woman with pipe, jumps into waiting truck in downtown Nanaimo

Police say victim believes ‘vicious assault’ was an attempted purse-snatching

ICBC willing to loosen grip on driver claim data, David Eby says

Private insurers say claims record monopoly keeps them out

Most Read