China has charged two detained Canadians with spying, escalating tensions between the two countries following the arrest in Vancouver 18 months ago of a senior Huawei executive wanted on U.S. charges.

Chinese prosecutors said Friday that Michael Kovrig was charged in Beijing on suspicion of spying for state secrets and intelligence. Michael Spavor was charged in Dandong city near the North Korean border on suspicion of spying for a foreign entity and illegally providing state secrets. The charges were announced by China’s highest prosecutor’s office in brief social media posts. Both men have been held since December 2018 in a move seen as an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng Wanzhou, a top executive at Chinese tech giant Huawei.

(By- M. Soujanya)