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Two Canadians freed by China have arrived in Canada

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Canadian businessman Michael Spavor (L) and former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig. (AFP)

Two Canadians freed from years of detention in China as part of a three-way deal involving the US arrived in their country Saturday and were greeted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

TV footage aired by CTV showed Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor arriving in Calgary in western Canada in the wee hours of Saturday when it was still dark. The two men, wearing suits and face masks, were greeted and hugged warmly by Trudeau at the airport.

The encounter was the culmination of a deal that saw Canada release the Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who was also headed home to China Saturday.

Meng, the 49-year-old daughter of Ren Zhengfei, the billionaire founder of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, was granted release in a Vancouver court hearing after three years of house arrest in Canada while fighting extradition to the United States.

She was arrested at Vancouver airport at the behest of US authorities on December 1, 2018.

The “two Michaels” — as they have been dubbed by international media — were detained in China just days after Meng was, on what Ottawa has contended were “trumped up” espionage charges.

In turn, Beijing called Meng’s case “a purely political incident.”

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