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

The 100 Mile Artist’s Guild showcasing winter-themed artwork

‘Each piece represents what the artist thinks is the longest night’

Athlete in Focus: Ryan McMann

Ryan McMann always had the desire to play hockey as a kid… Continue reading

RE/MAX holding annual food donation drive

In next week’s Connector you’ll find a paper bag as part of… Continue reading

Fill 100 Mile House and Interlakes Royal LePage offices with Christmas Spirit

Royal LePage is accepting donations ranging from toys to non-perishable foods for Christmas

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were women

Most Read