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

Mark Creek Market donates $2250 to Kimberley Minor Hockey

The annual Super Saver Coupon book sale raised over $2000 for the minor hockey association

Interior Health launches GetCheckedOnline program in Kimberley

Kimberley residents now have easier access to anonymous testing for sexually transmitted and blood borne infections

It happened this week in 1912

Dec. 8 - 14: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the newspapers at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Resident calls for ban after dog caught in leg hold trap

Bill Post of Cranbrook is pondering an horrific experience that happened to… Continue reading

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

The Conservatives have a Toronto convention already scheduled for April

Most Read