A former Canadian diplomat has been detained in China, two sources said on Tuesday, just hours before a top executive at Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies Co returned to a packed Vancouver courtroom for a bail hearing that has angered Beijing.

It was not immediately clear if the two cases were related, but Canadian analysts had already predicted China would retaliate after the arrest last week of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou at the request of U.S. authorities.

Meng, 46, faces U.S. accusations that she misled multinational banks about Huawei’s control of a company operating in Iran, putting the banks at risk of violating U.S. sanctions and incurring severe penalties, court documents said.

Michael Kovrig, the former diplomat, works for the International Crisis Group, an independent conflict resolution think-tank which said it was seeking his prompt and safe release.

But Canadian officials said they were not immediately able to confirm that Kovrig was in detention.

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By Ian Dei

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