Biden on China's detention of two Michaels: 'Human beings are not bartering chips'

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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden says the United States will work together with Canada to secure the release of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig from China.

Biden says human beings are not bartering chips, and that the two countries won't rest until Spavor and Kovrig are home.

The pair were swept up two years ago after Canada's arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who faces U.S. charges of violating sanctions against Iran.

Biden's words were likely one of Trudeau's top demands when the two leaders sat down today for the president's first bilateral meeting since his election.

They also vowed to move in "lockstep" in their collective fight against climate change, and to work together to defeat COVID-19.

Today's meeting had to take place virtually, with Biden in Washington and Trudeau in Ottawa, due to the pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2021.

The Canadian Press