Canadian man charged with spying in China gets visit by consular officials

Global Affairs Canada says consular officials in China visited today with detained former diplomat Michael Kovrig today.

It is the fifth time Kovrig has received a consular visit since he was detained by Chinese authorities in early December, but the first since he and fellow detainee Michael Spavor were charged with stealing state secrets two weeks ago.

Spavor has received four consular visits thus far.

The two have not had access to lawyers and receive one visit from Canadian officials a month.

The Canadian government says their detentions are arbitrary and warns Canadians travelling to China to do so with a "high degree of caution'' because of the arbitrary application of local laws.

Canada is calling for the immediate release of both men.