Analyst baffled by case of Canadians detained in China

Canada's Kevin Garratt (2nd R), his wife Julia Dawn Garratt (2nd L) and his children Peter and...

Canada's Kevin Garratt (2nd R), his wife Julia Dawn Garratt (2nd L) and his children Peter and Hannah, pose for a family picture in Dandong, in this undated handout provided to Reuters by Kevin's son Simeon Garratt. (REUTERS/Simeon Garratt/Handout via Reuters)

Giuseppe Valiante, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 5:25 PM ET

OTTAWA - The case of the two Canadians detained in China and accused of stealing military research secrets continues to baffle Asian affairs and diplomatic analysts.

The timing of the arrest of Kevin and Julia Garratt earlier this week, coupled with the dearth of information released by both the Chinese and Canadian governments are increasing speculation.

Was their arrest a retaliatory move by the Chinese because of the Canadian Treasury Board's out-of-character accusations last week that China hacked into the computers of the National Research Council?

Or did the Garratts -- conspicuous Christians -- who ran a coffee shop in the borderlands between China and North Korea fall in with people connected to North Korean defectors?

Gar Pardy, former head of Canadian consular services and expert on Asian affairs, said the case is a mystery.

However, the fact that the couple is reportedly being held in a hotel and not a prison, serves to note "that the Chinese are playing this one fairly light."

 

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