The Canadian government on Tuesday confirmed earlier reports that a former diplomat had been detained in China after the high-profile arrest of a Chinese executive in Vancouver.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Canada was “sparing no effort” to ensure the safety of Michael Kovrig, who has previously worked at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing.

Chinese officials have not given a reason for Kovrig’s arrest and Canada’s Foreign Ministry is unable to release further details regarding the case, CBC reported on Tuesday.

Undated portrait picture released on December 11, 2018 in Washington by the International Crisis Group of former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig. - The Canadian former diplomat has been detained in China, the ICG where he now works said Tuesday, amid Beijing's outrage over the arrest of a senior technology executive. The International Crisis Group said it was aware of reports of the detention of Michael Kovrig, a Chinese-speaking expert who served as a Canadian diplomat in Beijing, Hong Kong and at the United Nations. (Photo by Julie DAVID DE LOSSY / CRISIGROUP / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / CRISISGROUP/Julie David de Lossy" - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig. Photo: CrisisGroup

“Canadian diplomatic officials have been in touch with their Chinese counterparts to explain how seriously Canadians view this,”  Goodale said. “Clearly we are deeply concerned.…”

Kovrig’s detention comes as court proceedings for the chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, continue in Vancouver.

Meng is the daughter of the company’s founder, and her arrest, which is tied to violations of US sanctions on Iran, has led to condemnations from Beijing. Meng is facing possible extradition to the US.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also weighed in on the issue of Kovrig’s detention.

“Obviously we are aware of the situation of a Canadian detained in China,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, as quoted by CBC. “We have been in direct contact with the Chinese diplomats and representatives. We are engaged on the file, which we take very seriously, and we are providing consular assistance to the family.”